Books, movies and records of the year

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Henrik » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:56 pm

Hymie wrote:For me, a "Record of the Year" MUST be something that most people are aware of.
I guess we have a pretty good idea of your opinion on this matter by now, Hymie. But as Honorio wrote, it’s a summary of the most acclaimed records. And based on all critics’ lists that have been collected here at AM, ”Strange Fruit” is the most acclaimed song of 1939, like it or not.
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Hymie » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:22 pm

Henrik wrote:
Hymie wrote:For me, a "Record of the Year" MUST be something that most people are aware of.
I guess we have a pretty good idea of your opinion on this matter by now, Hymie. But as Honorio wrote, it’s a summary of the most acclaimed records. And based on all critics’ lists that have been collected here at AM, ”Strange Fruit” is the most acclaimed song of 1939, like it or not.

I have to take issue with the term ""most acclaimed song of 1939."

It is the most acclaimed song NOW that was originally released in 1939, but that's something entirely different. Not only are there no critics lists included here that were done in 1939, I doubt that there are even any lists included here from any critic who was old enough in 1939 to have an opinion on the records from that time.

To me, for something to be named as the "Most Acclaimed Song" of a particular year it must be from a tabulation of contemporary lists FROM that time. There's something phony to me about people from a later time deciding things about an era that they did not even live through.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Henrik » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:49 pm

Ok, so that’s another opinion from you, but it’s not what it is.
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Rocky Raccoon » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:15 pm

It's too bad this great thread got hijacked by a jackass. I know it's possible to lock threads, but another great feature would be if an original poster can make a thread exclusive to them, i.e. lock out all other comments other than their own in the thread. If someone wanted to comment on such a thread, they could start their own.

That being said, and apologies in advance, I have to point out that the two quotes below are some of the dumbest things I've ever read on this site:

"If you believe that most white people in the 30s were concerned about lynchings, you are sadly mistaken. If that was the case they would not have continued to happen."
This statement is an oversimplification and void of any understanding of a very complex issue. To draw a modern-day analogy. Most people in the Muslim world are concerned with, and opposed to, extremist Islamic terrorism, but that doesn't just mean it's going to stop happening.
To cite a couple of surveys on this matter, a 2011 Gallup poll found 85% of Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East believed attacks on civilians are "never justified." After the July 7 bombings in London, a 2006 ICM Research poll found 99% of British Muslims believed the bombers were wrong to carry out their attacks. Those prevailing attitudes did not however prevent the violence from happening.
To suggest if more white people were concerned with lynchings they wouldn't have continued is naive. This statement also ignores the regional component of lynchings as a predominately, although not solely, Southern issue.

"So can fighting in a war, or being shot at by terrorists, or being raped, but that does make them good things."
For me, reading rape being compared to the subject matter of a song is a classic face-palm moment.
Of course rape or war or terrorism isn't a good thing, but comparing that to a song that brings to light the horrors of lynchings isn't just as different as comparing apples and oranges, it's like comparing apples and aircraft carriers.
Music is an art form, and often the best art puts up a mirror against life and reflects it to us so we can reach a higher understanding and connect emotionally with our fellow humans. It's okay not to like "sad" songs, but to dismiss their merits because you think the subject matter is "not a good thing," misses the point entirely.
Lynchings were a disgraceful part of U.S. history, and very few outside of the most ardent racists would disagree with that, but to say a song about them that enlightens an audience on an emotional level is also bad is just plain wrong. The same can be said about songs, or any other art form, on other matters with dark subject matter. Was Schindler's List a bad movie because the subject matter of the Holocaust is one of the most shameful events in human history?
Maybe I'm wrong, and all songs or other art should just be about love, hummingbirds, rainbows and puppy dogs.

Anyway, "Add foe" has be activated for only the second time in my time here at AM.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Listyguy » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:47 pm

Great thread, as always, Honorio. It's a shame to see it grey rundown with an inane argument that really doesn't relate to the original point of the thread....

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Listyguy » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:49 pm

Hymie wrote:
I have to take issue with the term ""most acclaimed song of 1939."

It is the most acclaimed song NOW that was originally released in 1939, but that's something entirely different. Not only are there no critics lists included here that were done in 1939, I doubt that there are even any lists included here from any critic who was old enough in 1939 to have an opinion on the records from that time.

To me, for something to be named as the "Most Acclaimed Song" of a particular year it must be from a tabulation of contemporary lists FROM that time. There's something phony to me about people from a later time deciding things about an era that they did not even live through.
Popularly and acclaim are not the same

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by FrankLotion » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:47 pm

Hymie wrote:
There's something phony to me about people from a later time deciding things about an era that they did not even live through.
Are you 90 years old? What are your favorite memories of 1939? You must know so much!

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:07 pm

Like I said when I arrived to this thread, it's a great one. One of the most interesting ones in the forum, in my opinion. We should all return to the respectful discussion we were having beforehand, because that's what this deserves. Anyways, here are my personal picks for 1940.

1940:

Movie Of 1940 - The Grapes Of Wrath (John Ford, United States)
“Here is an outstanding entertainment, projected against a heartrending sector of the American scene. Through newsreels and rotogravure, the public is familiar with the ravages of drought over a wide agricultural area in Oklahoma, Colorado, the Texas panhandle and western Kansas. The film interprets the consequences of national disaster in terms of a family group–the Joads–who left their quarter-section to the wind and dust and started ‘cross country in an over-laden jalopy to the land of plenty. Considering the rumpus caused by the book, Darryl F. Zanuck’s decision to film the yarn could not have been reached without complete realization of the inevitable repercussions. It is not a pleasant story, and the pictured plight of the Joads, and hundreds of other dust bowl refugee families, during their frantic search for work in California, is a shocking visualization of a state of affairs demanding generous humanitarian attention. Neither book nor film gives any edge to citizens of California who are working diligently to alleviate suffering and conditions not of their origination. Steinbeck offers no suggestion. In this respect the film ends on a more hopeful note. Someway, somehow, Ma Joad declares ‘the people’ will solve the unemployment riddle.” (Variety)

Book Of 1940 - Native Son (Richard Wright, United States)
"The American author Richard Wright is most famous for this one book. It was his first novel, and on its publication in 1940, it became one of the fastest-selling novels in American literary history: a remarkable feat for a 32-two-year old, largely self-educated, man from Mississippi. It would be fair to say that it changed his life forever. He went on to write many other books, both fiction and non-fiction, but at the time of his death, at the young age of 52 in 1960, many of the obituary notices made reference to Wright as the author of just this one book, 'Native Son'. The novel tells a stark, and somewhat violent, story of a young black man who becomes hardened, and desensitised, by his upbringing in inner-city Chicago. He is an intelligent fellow, but unlike both his sister and his mother, he is not inclined to accept religion into his life as a way of surviving the misery of his existence, nor is he prepared to do as many other men seem to do and reach for the bottle. He takes a respectable job in the house of a wealthy family, but becomes involved in the death of a young woman and finds himself hunted by bigoted officials whom he correctly assumes will neither listen to his version of what happened, nor see him as anything other than a brute. Eventually he is captured and tried. He faces his death sentence with dignity and achieves an insight into his situation that raises him, and his story, to a truly tragic pitch. In a heartbreaking conclusion to the novel, he understands that his life has been squandered. He also comes to accept the fact that there are many more like him, and the system will continue to produce young men who will never reach their full potential because society simply refuses to see them as being anything other than a disposable burden." (The Independent)

Song Of 1940 - Fixin' To Die Blues (Bukka White, United States)
“Fixin’ to Die” is song by American blues musician Bukka White. It is performed in the Delta blues style with White’s vocal and guitar accompanied by washboard rhythm. White recorded it in Chicago on May 8, 1940, for record producer Lester Melrose. The song was written just days before, along with eleven others, at Melrose’s urging. White was resuming his recording career, which had been interrupted by his incarceration for two and one-half years at the infamous Parchman Farm prison in Mississippi. While there, White witnessed the death of a friend and “got to wondering how a man feels when he dies”. His lyrics reflect his thoughts about his children and wife. White provides the vocal and acoustic slide guitar (which was borrowed from Big Bill Broonzy) with backing by Washboard Sam. Despite the somber lyrics, “the music throbs with a restless energy” with White’s “bottleneck guitar crying in urgent counterpoint to his imagery”. Music historian Ted Gioia notes that these recordings of White “come as close to art song as traditional blues has ever dared to go, but without losing any of the essential qualities of the Delta heritage". However, as with his other songs from the session, “Fixin’ to Die Blues” did not capture the record buying public’s interest. As a result, White largely retired from performing music, until a resurgence of interest in the early 1960s and the American folk music revival." (All Dylan)

Movies Of 1940:
1. The Grapes Of Wrath - John Ford (United States)
2. The Great Dictator - Charlie Chaplin (United States)
3. Pinocchio - Ben Sharpsteen & Hamilton Luske (United States)

Books Of 1940:
1. Native Son - Richard Wright (United States)
2. For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway (United States)
3. Darkness At Noon - Arthur Koestler (United Kingdom)

Songs Of 1940:
1. Fixin’ To Die Blues - Bukka White (United States)
2. I’ll Never Smile Again - Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers (United States)
3. Blues In Thirds - Sidney Bechet (United States)
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Hymie » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:52 pm

FrankLotion wrote:
Hymie wrote:
There's something phony to me about people from a later time deciding things about an era that they did not even live through.
Are you 90 years old? What are your favorite memories of 1939? You must know so much!

No, I am not 90 years old, but I have several friends and relatives who are 90 or close to it. Not one of them has ever heard of "Strange Fruit." Naming it as the song of 1939 is just revisionist history.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Hymie » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:55 pm

Rocky Raccoon wrote:It's too bad this great thread got hijacked by a jackass.
I believe that you just violated forum rules by calling another poster a name. If you disagree with my point, that's fine, but name calling is not permitted.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Dan » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:13 am

*blissfully ignoring some undoubtedly annoying comments by everyone's favourite forumer to say...*

Thanks very much for this, Honorio. I’m not nearly as familiar with acclaimed films and books as I am with music. If one day (hopefully soon) I feel that I have the strength to throw myself into literature and film with the same emotional commitment as I’ve given to music, this will be my starting point.
...will keep us together.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Rob » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:10 am

Hymie wrote:Naming it as the song of 1939 is just revisionist history.
But this is not a history topic in a normal sense. This is not a summary of songs that were popular in their day. Acclaimed Music, They Shoot Pictures and The Greatest Books are about the canon instead of the history of their respective art forms. Canons revolve more about how works resonate over time and how they influence later works. A big hit might have little staying power and influence in the end, while something that was unknown in their own time keeps living on. Mozart was a minor composer in his time, Shakespeare not particularly notable and Vincent van Gogh not understood. Yet their works are now more known than their contemporaries. Popular music also has a good example in The Velvet Underground & Nico. I know you don't like them, but despite their debut album being almost a non-entity at the time of release it is still very much around and it's influence - musically, lyrically and even vocally - on alternative music is immeasurable.

So here nobody is claiming that In the Mood is not a good song or that it wasn't popular. It's just that swing's importance and Miller's influence have both faded to the background, while the conscious type of lyrics have become more of important with age. In fact, in vocal jazz, race politics became more of a standard as time wore on and it has made something of a comeback in the current trend of jazz rap, which pretty much takes politics as the standard for lyrics. I think it is easier to point out how we can see Strange Fruit's influence in the current music scene than In the Mood. In the end, there might be more young musicians working that will name-check Billie Holiday than Glenn Miller. I know you don't care about the modern music and that's fine, but that doesn't keep it from evolving. Culture is constantly being reassessed and re-appreciated. That is the process that this project reflects.

Also, renouncing Strange Fruit because you don't play it while DJ-ing is like claiming Finnegans Wake is a terrible book because it doesn't work as a bedtime book for kids. There are different functions for music and not all of them involve parties.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Dexter » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:17 pm

Hymie wrote:Naming it as the song of 1939 is just revisionist history.
ROTFL! What a laugh riot!

According to the book Music of the World War II Era by William & Nancy Young, if you're talking about Hit Parade chart position the #1 song of 1939 is "Beer Barrel Polka" as recorded by Will Glahé's Musette Orchestra. A novelty song which almost no one is familiar with today. The #2 song is "Over the Rainbow" which I have no problem being considered as the song of 1939.

For the sake of argument, let's limit the impact of "Strange Fruit" only for the year 1939. It still has a strong case for song of the year.

Your parents, friends, etc. might not have heard "Strange Fruit" because radio stations refused to give the then controversial song airplay. Based on record sales alone, it made #16 on the Hit Parade, which is almost unheard of at that time for a song with no airplay. (source: http://www.musicvf.com/Billie+Holiday.art). If you look at the Billie Holiday's chart history, this is her only charted single under the small alt-jazz label Commodore because the big labels Columbia and Vocalion were afraid to touch it. It eventually sold over a million copies becoming Billie Holiday's best selling recording-- you could make a case that "God Bless the Child" is her most popular song charts-wise (3rd in 1941, although it only peaked at #25 compared to "Strange Fruit"'s #16 peak so imagine if the latter song was not banned by radio) and most covered, but by then Billie Holiday already got a mention in Time magazine and a hot ticket in jazz clubs due to "Strange Fruit".

The fact that your parents, friends, or whatever haven't heard the song nor bought a copy of the record does not diminish this singular achievement. Lack of radio airplay should not be the only criteria for a song's acclaim, "God Only Knows" only made it to #39 in the Billboard Hot 100 because some stations think it's blasphemous or that "A Day in the Life" is widely considered as the Beatles' greatest song even though it garnered a fraction of the airplay that the other Sgt. Pepper tracks got (e.g. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds") or that of the 1967 single "All You Need Is Love."

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Hymie » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:26 pm

Dexter wrote:
Hymie wrote:Naming it as the song of 1939 is just revisionist history.
ROTFL! What a laugh riot!

According to the book Music of the World War II Era by William & Nancy Young, if you're talking about Hit Parade chart position the #1 song of 1939 is "Beer Barrel Polka" as recorded by Will Glahé's Musette Orchestra. A novelty song which almost no one is familiar with today. The #2 song is "Over the Rainbow" which I have no problem being considered as the song of 1939.

For the sake of argument, let's limit the impact of "Strange Fruit" only for the year 1939. It still has a strong case for song of the year.

Your parents, friends, etc. might not have heard "Strange Fruit" because radio stations refused to give the then controversial song airplay. Based on record sales alone, it made #16 on the Hit Parade,
It DID NOT make #16 on anything. The charts started in 1940. If you read the thread, I already explained that this is a made up chart position from Joel Whitburn. "In The Mood" had its chart life mainly in 1940, where it was number one for 12 weeks in Feb-Mar-Apr-May.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Hymie » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:30 pm

Rob wrote: Popular music also has a good example in The Velvet Underground & Nico. I know you don't like them, but despite their debut album being almost a non-entity at the time of release it is still very much around and it's influence - musically, lyrically and even vocally - on alternative music is immeasurable.
Since alternative music is shit, the fact that they had a big influence on it is a negative, not a positive.

Having an influence in and of itself is not necessarily a good thing. Trump has had lots of influence on white supremacist groups feeling emboldened to say and do things now. Does that make his influence a good thing?

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Hymie » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:33 pm

Dexter wrote: It eventually sold over a million copies becoming Billie Holiday's best selling recording--
Where are you getting this BS from?

"Strange Fruit" was never a big seller. The record is hard to find. If it sold a million copies, as you claim, it would be easy to find.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Dexter » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:40 pm

Hymie wrote:It DID NOT make #16 on anything. The charts started in 1940. If you read the thread, I already explained that this is a made up chart position from Joel Whitburn. "In The Mood" had its chart life mainly in 1940, where it was number one for 12 weeks in Feb-Mar-Apr-May.
A hit parade is a ranked list of the most popular recordings at a given point in time, usually determined by sales and/or airplay. The term originated in the 1930s; Billboard magazine published its first music hit parade on January 4, 1936. It has also been used by broadcast programs which featured hit (sheet music and record) tunes such as Your Hit Parade, which aired on radio and television in the United States from 1935 through the 1950s. source:wikipedia with footnote.

Beginning in 1935, Your Hit Parade offered a national survey, with chart positions based on various factors including sales of records and sheet music (although its evolving rankings formula was never clearly articulated). Thus, from 1935 onward, one can at least say that a song was number X according to that particular source. For songs released beforehand, however, there is no consistent way to derive such a ranking. Variety and other publications may provide ad hoc sales figures, or print very specific charts (for example, of record sales by a given company in a given market), but they offer nothing that would enable one to say, so generally, that a song was “number X” nationally. From where did the national (US) chart positions for years prior to 1935 or 1936, that can now be found all over the web, come from? As outlined above, they sprang from the imagination of Joel Whitburn. There were no national charts during this era for best-selling or most popular records; therefore, no national chart positions. (source: https://songbook1.wordpress.com/fx/joel ... y-picking/)
Last edited by Dexter on Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Dexter » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:42 pm

Hymie wrote:
Dexter wrote: It eventually sold over a million copies becoming Billie Holiday's best selling recording--
Where are you getting this BS from?

"Strange Fruit" was never a big seller. The record is hard to find. If it sold a million copies, as you claim, it would be easy to find.
source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... song-today

The record is hard to find right now because the Commodore, the indie label which distributed it was active until 1946 (source: wikipedia), evidently, no reissues/reprints were made after the label folded.
Last edited by Dexter on Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Brad » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:25 pm

I believe I may echo the sentiments of several of us in suggesting this discussion be moved to another thread (or forum). This has become tiresome.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Henrik » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:34 pm

Brad wrote:I believe I may echo the sentiments of several of us in suggesting this discussion be moved to another thread (or forum). This has become tiresome.
It has indeed. Let's move on.

Maybe I shouldn't say this, but thankfully Honorio has a "clean copy" of this topic in another part of the forum.
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Hymie » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:28 pm

Dexter wrote: The record is hard to find right now because the Commodore, the indie label which distributed it was active until 1946 (source: wikipedia), evidently, no reissues/reprints were made after the label folded.
I sell collectors records for a living, and if it had really sold a million copies it would not be so hard to find a copy now.

I could argue these points forever, but since Henrik does not want controversy in his forum, this will be my last post in this thread.

I listen to music to get away from the ugliness of the real world. Not to be told about it. I guess that's one reason why I have no interest in lyrics at all.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Dexter » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:00 pm

Hymie wrote:
Dexter wrote: The record is hard to find right now because the Commodore, the indie label which distributed it was active until 1946 (source: wikipedia), evidently, no reissues/reprints were made after the label folded.
I sell collectors records for a living, and if it had really sold a million copies it would not be so hard to find a copy now.

I could argue these points forever, but since Henrik does not want controversy in his forum, this will be my last post in this thread.

I listen to music to get away from the ugliness of the real world. Not to be told about it. I guess that's one reason why I have no interest in lyrics at all.
Discogs listed 6,438 users as having a copy of it (who knows how many internet-averse old folks have copies with them too). The fact that none haven't offered any of their copies for sale proves that it is valuable and not easily accessible. source: https://www.discogs.com/composition/295 ... ange-Fruit

Yeah, let's stop this. You got me deflated with "I have no interest in lyrics at all."

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Hymie » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:17 pm

Dexter wrote:
Hymie wrote:
Dexter wrote: The record is hard to find right now because the Commodore, the indie label which distributed it was active until 1946 (source: wikipedia), evidently, no reissues/reprints were made after the label folded.
I sell collectors records for a living, and if it had really sold a million copies it would not be so hard to find a copy now.

I could argue these points forever, but since Henrik does not want controversy in his forum, this will be my last post in this thread.

I listen to music to get away from the ugliness of the real world. Not to be told about it. I guess that's one reason why I have no interest in lyrics at all.
Discogs listed 6,438 users as having a copy of it (who knows how many internet-averse old folks have copies with them too). The fact that none haven't offered any of their copies for sale proves that it is valuable and not easily accessible. source: https://www.discogs.com/composition/295 ... ange-Fruit
Sorry, had to post again to say that your Discogs link is for people who own that track in one form or another, not for people who own that actual 78. I have almost 20,000 items for sale on Discogs myself.

There are 3 different pressings of the 78 and a total of 70 Discogs users own one of the pressings, 28, 22, and 20.

https://www.discogs.com/release/1634405

https://www.discogs.com/release/4378505

https://www.discogs.com/release/5319256

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Dexter » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:09 pm

Hymie wrote:There are 3 different pressings of the 78 and a total of 70 Discogs users own one of the pressings, 28, 22, and 20.
I'm wrong about this one, I'm not a Discogs member and I don't have the time to correlate 1930s-1940s record ownership in Discogs to actual records sold but from your link it appears that the latest sales were made in November 2018, which is not bad for a 1939 record and which may mean that a copy could be easily be purchased given one periodically monitors the site. Anyway, this is getting way out of topic.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:41 pm

Ugh, what a drag! I think I should write something here (after all I was the one who created the thread) but an enormous laziness comes to me when I think about it. I got limited spare time but I spend it gladly creating threads like this one (it's a pleasure for me and I'm learning a lot about books and movies). What I definitely don't enjoy is writing rants against another music lover, even if we have different tastes.
First of all thank to everyone for all the compliments about the thread and for jumping in defence of your ideas so eloquently. Gathering all your explanations about acclaim, popularity and influence we get a perfect picture of the situation. I really don't have much to add to your thoughts.
But, and I'm sorry for getting here again some controversy when everyone is suggesting to move on with the thread and Hymie himself said that he won't write nothing on this thread again, I can't help but answer two questions raised by Hymie because I strongly disagree with them.
Hymie wrote:
Honorio wrote: Fortunately the good books, movies and songs can produce a wide range of emotions other than joy, excitement or amusement.
So can fighting in a war, or being shot at by terrorists, or being raped, but that does make them good things.
Bruce, we all know you always want to have the last word on a discussion. So you usually use in your answers short sentences that appear to close the discussion expeditiously. But this time you were not only rude but also fallacious and even lazy. My assertion "good books, movies and songs can produce a wide range of emotions" is obviously an opinion but it could be considered quite truthful in itself. I haven't said something like "anything that can produce a wide range of emotions is a work of art" or "a work of art is good because it can produce a wide range of emotions." So your reply: 1) does not really derive from my affirmation even if it seems at first glance and 2) was aimed to stir thing up and create controversy using words like "war," "terrorist" or "rape." And you succeeded, people reacted angrily.
Hymie wrote:
Rocky Raccoon wrote:It's too bad this great thread got hijacked by a jackass.
I believe that you just violated forum rules by calling another poster a name. If you disagree with my point, that's fine, but name calling is not permitted.
I don't like people on the forum calling another poster a name and I seize the opportunity to ask Rocky Raccoon to not do this anymore. But one thing I'm not going to allow is having you, Bruce, dictating the forum rules. In fact there are no forum rules, we are adults and we supposedly know how to behave. Respect for other people's opinions and tastes should be the only rule I think.
Maybe, even if you stated the opposite, you will want to have the last word again and you will reply to this. That's perfectly fine with me but I won't reply again. As many have suggested I prefer to move on with the thread, so let's go with 1941, the year with the best movie of all time…


1941



Movie of 1941 | Citizen Kane | Orson Welles | USA | all time #1
"The source book of Orson Welles, and still a marvellous movie. Thematically less resonant than some of Welles' later meditations on the nature of power, perhaps, but still absolutely riveting as an investigation of a citizen —newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst by any other name— under suspicion of having soured the American Dream. Its imagery as Welles delightedly explores his mastery of a new vocabulary, still amazes and delights, from the opening shot of the forbidding gates of Xanadu to the last glimpse of the vanishing Rosebud (tarnished, maybe, but still a potent symbol). A film that gets better with each renewed acquaintance." (Tom Milne, Time Out)

Book of 1941 | Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (Mother Courage and Her Children) | Bertolt Brecht | Switzerland | Germany | all time #533
"Mother Courage and Her Children (German: Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder) is a play written in 1939 by the German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) with significant contributions from Margarete Steffin. Mother Courage is considered by some to be the greatest play of the 20th century, and perhaps also the greatest anti-war play of all time. Mother Courage is one of nine plays that Brecht wrote in an attempt to counter the rise of Fascism and Nazism. Written largely in response to the invasion of Poland (1939) by the German armies of Adolf Hitler, Brecht wrote it in what writers call a "white heat"—in a little over a month." (Wikipedia)

Record of 1941 | God Bless the Child | Billie Holiday | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #1206
"For a song that has become something of a secular hymn, it's strange that Billie Holiday's plaintive God Bless the Child grew out of a row with her mother. But then, as Tony Bennett said of Holiday: "When you listen to her, it's almost like an audio tape of her autobiography. She didn't sing anything unless she lived it." The song was hastily written in 1939, and Holiday said she wrote it in a rage after her mother refused to give her a small loan — at a time when Holiday was bankrolling her restaurant. "She wouldn’t give me a cent. I was mad at her, she was mad at me… Then I said, 'God bless the child that's got his own,' and walked out." (Mike Hobart, Financial Times)


Books of 1941:
1 | Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca | Federico García Lorca | USA | Spain | collection | #313
2 | Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder[/b] (Mother Courage and Her Children) | Bertolt Brecht | Switzerland | Germany | #533
3 | The Negro Caravan: Writings by American Negroes | Sterling Allen Brown, Arthur Paul Davis, Ulysses Lee | USA | collection | #713
4 | Röde Orm (The Long Ships) | Frans G. Bengtsson | Sweden | #1044
5 | The Real Life of Sebastian Knight | Vladimir Nabokov | USA | Russia | #1084


Movies of 1941:
1 | Citizen Kane | Orson Welles | USA | #1
2 | The Lady Eve | Preston Sturges | USA | #143
3 | Sullivan's Travels | Preston Sturges | USA | #228


Songs of 1941:
1 | God Bless the Child | Billie Holiday | USA | #1206
2 | Take the "A" Train | Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra | USA | #1247
3 | The Midnight Special | Lead Belly and the Golden Gate Quartet | USA | #1266


Classical works of 1941:
1 | Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time) | Olivier Messiaen | Germany | France | #41
2 | Violin Concerto | Samuel Barber | USA | #79
3 | Warsaw Concerto | Richard Addinsell | UK | #97

Note:
So we have the second all-time #1, the best movie of all time, "Citizen Kane" by Orson Welles. On 24 years we will find the #1 song of all time and only one year later the #1 album of all time.

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:23 pm

Glad that this matter seems to be over. Wasn't gonna put Selected Poems on here but seeing that it's eligible on The Greatest Books, i decided to include it in my list.

1941:

Movie Of 1941 - Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, United States)
"Within the withering spotlight as no other film has ever been before, Orson Welles's "Citizen Kane" had it's world première at the Palace last evening. And now that the wraps are off, the mystery has been exposed and Mr. Welles and the RKO directors have taken the much-debated leap, it can be safely stated that suppression of this film would have been a crime. For, in spite of some disconcerting lapses and strange ambiguities in the creation of the principal character, "Citizen Kane" is far and away the most surprising and cinematically exciting motion picture to be seen here in many a moon. As a matter of fact, it comes close to being the most sensational film ever made in Hollywood. Count on Mr. Welles; he doesn't do things by halves. Being a mercurial fellow, with a frightening theatrical flair, he moved right into the movies, grabbed the medium by the ears and began to toss it around with the dexterity of a seasoned veteran. Fact is, he handled it with more verve and inspired ingenuity than any of the elder craftsmen have exhibited in years. With the able assistance of Gregg Toland, whose services should not be overlooked, he found in the camera the perfect instrument to encompass his dramatic energies and absorb his prolific ideas. Upon the screen he discovered an area large enough for his expansive whims to have free play. And the consequence is that he has made a picture of tremendous and overpowering scope, not in physical extent so much as in its rapid and graphic rotation of thoughts. Mr. Welles has put upon the screen a motion picture that really moves." (Bosley Crowther, The New York Times)

Book Of 1941 - Selected Poems Of Federico Garcia Lorca (Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain)
"The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca has introduced generations of American readers to mesmerizing poetry since 1955. Lorca (1898-1937) is admired all over the world for the lyricism, immediacy and clarity of his poetry, as well as for his ability to encompass techniques of the symbolist movement with deeper psychological shadings. But Lorca's poems are, most of all, admired for their beauty. Undercurrents of his major influences--Spanish folk traditions from his native Andalusia and Granada, gypsy ballads, and his friends the surrealists Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel--stream throughout Lorca's work." (Goodreads)

Song Of 1941 - God Bless The Child (Billie Holiday, United States)
"It often seems this is all because Billie Holiday confers something on you that tends to make you think — or helps you better pretend, both to yourself and the world — that you are quite the intellectual, a progressive, character-steeped individual. Never mind that you’re cartooning a great artist in a way that would make her . . . well, let’s just say that Billie Holiday was tough. Personally, she is not someone I would have wished to piss off with some adopted pose. One need only spend some time with “God Bless the Child” to see that. Her version, co-written with Arthur Herzog, Jr., was worked out in 1941 and released 75 years ago on the Okeh label. When you encounter the Okeh label, you’re usually going to get some mantle-deep music that you can dig way into. It’s like when you see the RKO signage appear at the start of a 1940s film noir, or find a blues 78 with the word Paramount on it. As a general rule of thumb, stuff is about to get good when you see that sticker — and better still with Holiday. Holiday wrote her portion of the song— most of the lyrics — over a fight with her mother about money. Apparently, the latter passive aggressively slammed her daughter — who had probably slammed her a few times — with the send-off line of "God bless the child that’s got his own." Most people would seek out pity-derived caresses in the aftermath of this dust-up (it’s a damn good thing Facebook didn’t exist in the 1940s). But the true artist reaches inward instead. On this song, Holiday did so magnificently." (Colin Fleming, Salon)

Movies Of 1941:
1. Citizen Kane - Orson Welles (United States)
2. The Maltese Falcon - John Huston (United States)
3. High Sierra - W.R. Burnett (United States)

Books Of 1941:
1. Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca - Federico Garcia Lorca (Spain)
2. Hangover Square - Patrick Hamilton (United Kingdom)
3. Escape From Freedom - Erich Fromm (United States)

Songs Of 1941:
1. God Bless The Child - Billie Holiday (United States)
2. Catfish Blues - Robert Petway (United States)
3. Tatuaje - Concha Piquer (Spain)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:05 pm

Hey, Cold Butterfly, two Spanish acts on your 1941 lists. That's great!

1942



Movie of 1942 | Casablanca | Michael Curtiz | USA | all time #35
"Seeing the film over and over again, year after year, I find it never grows over-familiar. It plays like a favorite musical album; the more I know it, the more I like it. The black-and-white cinematography has not aged as color would. The dialogue is so spare and cynical it has not grown old-fashioned. Much of the emotional effect of Casablanca is achieved by indirection; as we leave the theater, we are absolutely convinced that the only thing keeping the world from going crazy is that the problems of three little people do after all amount to more than a hill of beans." (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Book of 1942 | L’Étranger (The Stranger) | Albert Camus | France | all time #42
"Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus's extraordinary first novel, The Stranger (L'Étranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus was exploring what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." The Stranger is a strikingly modern text, readers will appreciate why Camus's stoical anti-hero and devious narrator remains one of the key expressions of a postwar Western malaise, and one of the cleverest exponents of a literature of ambiguity." (Publisher)

Record of 1942 | White Christmas | Bing Crosby | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #867
"White Christmas was the best-selling song of all time until 1997, when Elton John's updated Candle in the Wind was released after the death of Princess Diana. In spirit, White Christmas is a blues song, and it has been covered hundreds of times by what seems like nearly every artist who has released a Christmas album. It stands out among its mostly upbeat brethren in the holiday song category. It is emotionally complex. Rosen theorizes, "The kind of deep secret of the song may be that it was Berlin responding in some way to his melancholy about the death of his son." In 1928, Berlin's three week-old infant died on Christmas morning." (Jeff Saporito, The Take)


Books of 1942:
1 | L’Étranger (The Stranger) | Albert Camus | France | #42
2 | The Moon Is Down | John Steinbeck | USA | #826
3 | The Little Grey Men | BB | UK | #835


Movies of 1942:
1 | Casablanca | Michael Curtiz | USA | #35
2 | The Magnificent Ambersons | Orson Welles | USA | #78
3 | To Be or Not to Be | Ernst Lubitsch | USA | #102


Songs of 1942:
1 | White Christmas | Bing Crosby with Ken Dardy Singers and John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra | USA | #867
2 | Flying Home | Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra | USA | #1398
3 | Stormy Weather | Lena Horne | USA | #1974


Classical works of 1942:
1 | Simfonija № 7 do mažor, "Leningradskaja" (Symphony No. 7 in C major, "Leningrad") | Dmitri Shostakovich | USSR | #60
2 | A Ceremony of Carols | Benjamin Britten | UK | #70

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:35 pm

Thanks Honorio!

(It literally killed me trying to find reviews and summaries of Ala-Arriba! and Boogie Woogie Cocktail, and apparently they're both obscure even on the internet, from what I found. That's why there's nothing listed next to them.)

1942:

Movie Of 1942 - Ala-Arriba! (Jose Leitao de Barros, Portugal)

Book Of 1942 - The Stranger (Albert Camus, France)
"At the age of 14, I stumbled across The Stranger, Albert Camus' famous novel of absurdity and detachment. It was hard not to relate. It was the voice I connected with first, antihero Meursault's poker-faced assessment of a world that makes as little sense to him as mine did to me. His mother has just died, though he never bothers to inquire precisely when. The day after the funeral, he goes swimming, starts a meaningless affair, then strolls off to the movies to see a comedy. A week later, he shoots a man to death (he doesn't own up to pulling the trigger, exactly: the way Meursault tells it, "the trigger gave"). When questioned by the judge about his motives, he explains that he fired those five shots (five!) "because of the sun." While I was listening to this guy talk about how happy he is awaiting execution, something strange was happening to me. Hard to put my finger on. Had I even read a novel before this one? Where on earth did I come across it? It was that Cure album Standing on a Beach. The cover had a warning sticker (otherwise I never would've picked it up). The very first song on the record was inspired by Camus' book, so I decided to go straight to the source. So now I had this voice speaking to me, a maladjusted French-Algerian who has difficulty mourning his mother, an impartial observer of his neighbors, who beat both dogs and women. What is it that makes him tick, I wondered? Then, for some reason, I was wondering about myself. Would I respond to events as coldly as Meursault? It wasn't exactly what he says or does that caught my attention; it's all he's not saying, not doing. That might be what makes him so strange — his disconnectedness, his distance from normal human feeling, the way he just observes." (Aaron Gwyn, NPR)

Song Of 1942 - Boogie Woogie Cocktail (Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds Of Joy, United States)

Movies Of 1942:
1. Ala-Arriba! - Jose Leitao de Barros (Portugal)
2. The Magnificent Ambersons - Orson Welles (United States)
3. This Gun For Hire - Frank Tuttle (United States)

Books Of 1942:
1. The Stranger - Albert Camus (France)
2. Black Alibi - Cornell Woolrich (United States)
3. Parthiban Kanavu - Kalki Krishnamurthy (India)

Songs Of 1942:
1. Boogie Woogie Cocktail - Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds Of Joy (United States)
2. White Christmas - Bing Crosby (United States)
3. Sleepy Lagoon - Harry James & His Orchestra (United States)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:15 pm

1943



Book of 1943 | Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) | Antoine de Saint-Exupéry | France | all time #113
"Since 1943, the wise little boy from Asteroid B-612 has led children and their adults to deeper understandings of love, friendship, and responsibility. The Little Prince is a cherished story, read by millions of people in more than a hundred languages. Gregory Maguire "A lovely story… which covers a poetic, yearning philosophy — not the sort of fable that can be tacked down neatly at its four corners but rather reflections on what are real matters of consequence." This lovely book is also the perfect gift for those new to the wisdom of the Little Prince and the charms of his rose-and-star-filled worlds." (Publisher)

Movie of 1943 | The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp | Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger | UK | UK/Hungary | all time #181
"The passions and pitfalls of a lifetime in the military are dramatized in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's magnificent epic, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. The film follows the exploits of pristine British soldier Clive Candy (Livesey) as he battles to maintain his honor and proud gentlemanly conduct through romance, three wars, and a changing world. Vibrant and controversial, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is at once a romantic portrait of a career soldier and a pointed investigation into the nature of aging, friendship, and obsolescence." (The Criterion Collection)

Record of 1943 | Solo Flight | Benny Goodman and His Orchestra featuring Charlie Christian | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #2316
"Guitarist Charlie Christian recorded his signature song Solo Flight with the Benny Goodman Big Band on March 4 in 1941. The song would establish Christian as one of the earliest guitar heroes in jazz, the man responsible for bringing his instrument out of the background and into the frontline. Using new technologies for amplification, Christian pioneered the technique of constructing fluid, single-note lines on the guitar, similar to what one might hear from a trumpet, clarinet or saxophone. In doing so, he became a major —thought often unheralded— force in the development of bebop and other contemporary jazz genres." (Brian Zimmerman, Jazziz)


Books of 1943:
1 | Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) | Antoine de Saint-Exupéry | France | #113
2 | A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Betty Smith | USA | #194
3 | The Fountainhead | Ayn Rand | USA | #231


Movies of 1943:
1 | The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp | Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger | UK | UK/Hungary | #181
2 | Meshes of the Afternoon | Maya Deren/ Alexander Hamid | USA | #255
3 | Vredens dag (Day of Wrath) | Carl Theodor Dreyer | Denmark | #283


Songs of 1943:
1 | Solo Flight | Benny Goodman and His Orchestra featuring Charlie Christian | USA | #2316
2 | Irene | Lead Belly and Guitar | USA | #2396
3 | Que reste-t-il de nos amours | Charles Trenet | France | #4082


Classical works of 1943:
1 | Fanfare for the Common Man | Aaron Copland | USA | #32
2 | Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings | Benjamin Britten | UK | #92

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:55 pm

1944



Movie of 1944 | Double Indemnity | Billy Wilder | USA | all time #150
"As poised and languorous as a cat, Stanwyck's definitive femme fatale could be one of the savvy minxes of the actress' delectable Pre-Code years —the jailhouse alpha female in Ladies They Talk About, the secretary trampolining up the office ranks one bed at a time in Baby Face— grown older and harder, her manicured ruthlessness calcifying into brutal amorality. With diamond-hard repartee by Wilder and Raymond Chandler (by way of James M Cain's novel) and ghoulish cinematography by the great John Seitz, this is the gold standard of '40s noir, straight down the line." (Jessica Winter, Time Out)

Book of 1944 | The Horse's Mouth | Joyce Cary | UK | all time #529
"Joyce Cary wrote two trilogies, or 'triptychs' as he later called them. The first comprises Herself Surprised (1941), To Be a Pilgrim (1942) and The Horse's Mouth (1944). The Horse's Mouth is a portrait of an artistic temperament. Its protagonist, Gulley Gimson, is an impoverished painter who scorns conventional good behaviour. If a bad citizen, he is a good artist, so wholly preoccupied with his art that he is willing to endure any privation. For Gulley there is but one morality: to be a painter. "Joyce Cary is an important and exciting writer… If you like rich writing full of gusto and accurate original character drawing, you will get it from The Horse's Mouth." John Betjeman, Daily Herald." (Publisher)

Record of 1944 | Artistry in Rhythm | Stan Kenton and His Orchestra | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #2716
"Stan Kenton's life might best be described as one long battle: to win over public acceptance in his struggle to elevate "popular" music by combining elements of jazz and classical sounds into a new, artistic style of American music. "You've got to believe in something to achieve whatever goal you're shooting for. My own ideas may be wrong, but I'm going to stick with them until they break me," declared Kenton. At the same time, and from the opposite perspective, several classical composers like Stravinsky and Villa-Lobos, were incorporating elements of jazz into their music. Artistry in Rhythm was Kenton's most radical example to date of his innovative conceptions to effect a combination of the two styles." (Michael Sparke, Library of Congress)


Books of 1944:
1 | The Horse's Mouth | Joyce Cary | UK | #529
2 | The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham | USA | UK | #926
3 | Dvärgen (The Dwarf) | Pär Lagerkvist | Sweden | #1061


Movies of 1944:
1 | Double Indemnity | Billy Wilder | USA | #150
2 | Meet Me in St. Louis | Vincente Minnelli | USA | #232
3 | Ivan Groznyy (Ivan the Terrible, Part One) | Sergei Eisenstein | USSR | #259


Songs of 1944:
1 | Artistry in Rhythm | Stan Kenton and His Orchestra | USA | #2716
2 | Straighten Up and Fly Right | The King Cole Trio | USA | #3727
3 | Swinging on a Star | Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra | USA | #5040


Classical works of 1944:
1 | Appalachian Spring | Aaron Copland | USA | #18
2 | Concerto for Orchestra | Béla Bartók | USA | Hungary | #42

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:26 pm

1943:

Movie Of 1943 - Meshes Of The Afternoon (Maya Deren & Alexander Hamid, United States)
“Have you ever stopped to wonder, when you see and touch a flower, what happens inside? Unless you are in purely botanical mode, it may very likely spark off something in your subconscious. The breath of spring. The beauty and harmony of nature. Perhaps something given with affection and gentleness. Maybe even a token of romance? Maya Deren's wildly seminal work, Meshes Of The Afternoon, begins when a rather artificial looking hand places a flower on a pathway. The hand (and attached arm) pop out of existence, immediately alerting us to the fact that this is not a work of literal storytelling. The symbols of the next 14 minutes drill holes into our subconscious, where images speak louder than words, creating one of the most famous short films of all time.” (Eye For Film)

Book Of 1943 - The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Expuery, France)
“To all appearances The Little Prince is a children’s book. But ever since its original publication in French in 1943, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s story has enchanted audiences of all ages. The book’s beloved hero is a small, blond-haired boy from asteroid B-612, which he leaves to journey across the galaxy. Along his way, he visits a number of planets each populated by a sole person with an absurd profession (the little prince ultimately learns that there is no other kind). When he lands on Earth, in the middle of the desert, he is met by a mysterious snake. “Where are all the people?” the little prince asks. “I’m beginning to feel lonely in this desert.” “You can feel lonely among people, too,” replies the snake.” (Samuel Earle, The Guardian)

Song Of 1943 - Born To Lose (Ted Daffan’s Texans, United States)
“Forming his own band, The Texans, Daffan scored a string of hits, including "Worried Mind", "Those Blue Eyes Are Not Shining Anymore", "She Goes The Other Way", "No Letter Today", and "Born to Lose", which was also a platinum disc for Ray Charles in 1962. Daffan's version of "Born to Lose" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.” (Wikipedia)

Movies Of 1943:
1. Meshes Of The Afternoon - Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid (United States)
2. Ossessione - Luchino Visconti (Italy)
3. Wild Flower - Emilio Fernandez (Mexico)

Books Of 1943:
1. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (France)
2. Our Lady Of The Flowers - Jean Genet (France)
3. The Glass Bead Game - Hermann Hesse (Germany)

Songs Of 1943:
1. Born To Lose - Ted Daffan’s Texans (United States)
2. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore - The Ink Spots (United States)
3. Don’t Stop Now - Bonnie Davis (United States)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:27 pm

1944:

Movie Of 1944 - Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, United States)
"With his Double Indemnity for Paramount, Billy Wilder has broken open a door hitherto locked to all those connected with the creation of motion pictures. He has made the hero and heroine of his stark drama a pair of murderers. There is no gloss to their wrong-doing, no sugar frosting to make palatable their misdeeds. It is a drama the like of which no other picture in recent memory brings to mind, more than a little reminiscent of the late lamented, excellent French technique. This is not to say that it is "arty," for the business Double Indemnity is certain to do will prove that Wilder has indeed broken down the door in which the taboos of this industry have been too long stored away. For giving his director his head to ride his splendid talent to the winner's circle, the picture is therefore an even more excellent production credit for Joseph Sistrom. And there is a salute to the wisdom of Buddy De Sylva in okaying the project at the start." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Book Of 1944 - Collected Poems 1912-1944 (Hilda Doolittle, United States)
"Of special significance are the "Uncollected and Unpublished Poems (1912-1944)," the third section of the book, written mainly in the 1930s, during H. D.'s supposed "fallow" period. As these pages reveal, she was in fact writing a great deal of important poetry at the time, although publishing only a small part of it. The later, wartime poems in this section form an essential prologue to her magnificent Trilogy (1944), the fourth and culminating part of this book. Born in Pennsylvania in 1886, Hilda Doolittle moved to London in 1911 in the footsteps of her friend and one-time fiancé Ezra Pound. Indeed it was Pound, acting as the London scout for Poetry magazine, who helped her begin her extraordinary career, penning the words "H. D., Imagiste" to a group of six poems and sending them on to editor Harriet Monroe in Chicago. The Collected Poems 1912-1944 traces the continual expansion of H. D.'s work from her early imagistic mode to the prophetic style of her "hidden" years in the 1930s, climaxing in the broader, mature accomplishment of Trilogy." (Google Books)

Song Of 1944 - Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (Lead Belly, United States)
"Although Leadbelly is credited with authorship of "Where Did You Sleep" on "The Winding Sheet" and Nirvana's "Unplugged in New York," his own discovery of the song was almost as secondhand as that of the Seattle musicians. Alan Lomax, the folk music archivist and promoter, reported to Ms. McCulloh that Leadbelly learned parts of the song from someone who had taken it from the 1917 Sharp version and other parts from the 1925 cylinder recording. For all its complicated history, the meaning of "In the Pines" may be even more blurry, a vast continuum of different varieties of misery and suffering. "This unique, moody, blues-style song from the Southern mountain country is like a bottomless treasure box of folk-song elements," wrote James Leisy in his 1966 book "The Folk Song Abecedary." "The deeper you dig, the more you find." The basic elements of the song remain similar from version to version, but the context can be altered with a few words. It may be a husband, a wife or even a parent whose head is "found in the driver's wheel" and whose "body has never been found." Men, women and sometimes confused adolescents flee into the sordid pines, which serve as a metaphor for everything from sex to loneliness and death. The "longest" train can kill or give one's love the means to run away or leave an itinerant worker stranded far from his home." (Eric Weisbard, The New York Times)

Movies Of 1944:
1. Double Indemnity - Billy Wilder (United States)
2. Laura - Otto Preminger (United States)
3. Gaslight - George Cukor (United States)

Books Of 1944:
1. Collected Poems 1912-1944 - Hilda Doolittle (United States)
2. An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem And Modern Democracy - Gunnar Myrdal (United States)
3. The Lost Weekend - Charles R. Jackson (United States)

Songs Of 1944:
1. Where Did You Sleep Last Night? - Lead Belly (United States)
2. Sentimental Journey - Les Brown & His Orchestra (United States)
3. I Got Rhythm - Lester Young & The Kansas City Six (United States)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:23 pm

1945



Movie of 1945 | Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise) | Marcel Carné | France | all time #62
"Often dubbed "the French Gone With the Wind" for its unprecedented scope and popularity, the film offered audiences a dream of liberty, but not without considering the attendant perils. Children of Paradise is the ultimate theater-as-life movie, rich in historical allusions past and present, a landmark production that overcame constant harassment by the Germans and stands as a key testament to the spirit of the French Resistance. But apart from mere dissertation fodder, the film remains an exemplary piece of popular entertainment, full of vibrancy and wit, with unforgettable characters and a delicate, bittersweet tone that considers their emotions in balance." (Scott Tobias, A.V. Club)

Book of 1945 | Animal Farm | George Orwell | UK | all time #63
"Animal Farm is a dystopian allegorical novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democratic socialist and a member of the Independent Labour Party for many years, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism after his experiences with the NKVD during the Spanish Civil War. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel "contre Stalin." The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia destroy any possibility of a Utopia." (Publisher)

Record of 1945 | Caldonia | Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #1494
"Caldonia (originally titled Caldonia Boogie) became one of Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five's most enduring hits. The song, with its lyrical catchphrase "Caldon-YAH! Caldon-YAH! What makes your big head so hard!?" set America on its ear and spawned endless cover versions. Little Richard said Caldonia Boogie was the first non-gospel song he ever learned. That made sense, as Louie's "Cal-don-YAH!" shriek sounds eerily like the vocal tone Little Richard would adopt and patent to great chart success a decade later—as well as Little Richard's Jordan-style pencil-thin moustache" (Stephen Koch, Library of Congress)


Books of 1945:
1 | Animal Farm: A Fairy Story | George Orwell | UK | #63
2 | Loving | Henry Green | UK | #346
3 | Pippi Långstrump (Pippi Longstocking) | Astrid Lindgren | Sweden | #362


Movies of 1945:
1 | Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise) | Marcel Carné | France | #62
2 | Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City) | Roberto Rossellini | Italy | #124
3 | Brief Encounter | David Lean | UK | #148


Songs of 1945:
1 | Caldonia | Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five | USA | #1494
2 | Black, Brown and Beige: II. Come Sunday | Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra | USA | #1658
3 | Sentimental Journey | Les Brown and His Orchestra, Vocal Chorus by Doris Day | USA | #2197


Classical work of 1945 | Four Sea Interludes (from Peter Grimes) | Benjamin Britten | UK | #50

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:32 am

1945:

Movie Of 1945 - Rome, Open City (Robertson Rossellini, Italy)
“Much of what we know, generically, as "documentary style" narrative filmmaking is unthinkable without Roberto Rossellini's "Rome Open City," now at the Siskel Film Center. Other directors working in Italy and elsewhere in the 1930s and early '40s, notably Luchino Visconti with his "Postman Always Rings Twice" adaptation "Ossessione," brought narrative fiction outside, into the streets. But with Rossellini's first chapter in his war trilogy, concluding with the devastating "Germany Year Zero," the neorealist movement gathered international momentum. And Anna Magnani, Italy Herself, became a star. Think about the conditions under which "Rome Open City" was made. The first draft of the screenplay was written in the kitchen (the only room with heat, according to the stories) of a young Federico Fellini. Filming began in January 1945. Rossellini and company were paying tribute to resistance fighters and everyday heroes and heroines of the painfully recent past.” (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)

Book Of 1945 - Animal Farm (George Orwell, United Kingdom)
“Of course I intended it primarily as a satire on the Russian revolution. But I did mean it to have a wider application in so much that I meant that that kind of revolution (violent conspiratorial revolution, led by unconsciously power-hungry people) can only lead to a change of masters. I meant the moral to be that revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert and know how to chuck out their leaders as soon as the latter have done their job. The turning-point of the story was supposed to be when the pigs kept the milk and apples for themselves. If the other animals had had the sense to put their foot down then, it would have been all right. If people think I am defending the status quo, that is, I think, because they have grown pessimistic and assume that there is no alternative except dictatorship or laissez-faire capitalism. In the case of Trotskyists, there is the added complication that they feel responsible for events in the USSR up to about 1926 and have to assume that a sudden degeneration took place about that date. Whereas I think the whole process was foreseeable—and was foreseen by a few people, eg. Bertrand Russell—from the very nature of the Bolshevik party. What I was trying to say was, “You can’t have a revolution unless you make it for yourself; there is no such thing as a benevolent dictatorship”.” (George Orwell)

Song Of 1945 - Groovin’ High (Dizzy Gillespie, United States)
“Dizzy Gillespie took a sextet into the studio on February 9, 1945, and recorded two new compositions, “Groovin’ High,” a medium tempo tune based on the chord changes of “Whispering” (written in 1920), and “Blue ‘N’ Boogie.” In his book Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie, Donald L. Maggin says, “Dizzy created a complex arrangement for ‘Groovin’ High,’ which became one of his most enduring hits; it encompasses a six-bar introduction, three key changes, transition passages between solos, and a half-speed coda as it demonstrates his skill in fashioning interesting textures using only six instruments.” The following March of 1945 Dizzy recorded the tune again, this time fronting a quintet featuring Charlie Parker. According to Maggin, “The reworking of ‘Groovin’ High’ makes one important change in the complex arrangement. Dizzy curtailed his chorus to allow [guitarist Remo] Palmieri a short improvisation. Again, Dizzy and Bird managed a magical unison theme statement, and each performed intricate melodic improvisations over the unvarying swing rhythm.” (JazzStandards.com)

Movies Of 1945:
1. Rome, Open City - Roberto Rossellini (Italy)
2. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne - Robert Bresson (France)
3. Mildred Pierce - Michael Curtiz (United States)

Books Of 1945:
1. Animal Farm - George Orwell (United Kingdom)
2. If He Hollers Let Him Go - Chester Himes (United States)
3. A Dark Stranger - Julien Gracq (France)

Songs Of 1945:
1. Groovin’ High - Dizzy Gillespie (United States)
2. Driftin’ Blues - Charles Brown with Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers (United States)
3. Koko - Charlie Parker (United States)
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:20 pm

1946



Movie of 1946 | It's a Wonderful Life | Frank Capra | USA | all time #80
"James Stewart is a vision of decency as the selfless guy George Bailey who finds himself deeply loved in the smalltown community he'd once dreamed of leaving: a redemptive discovery that follows his suicidal despair one snowy Christmas night. Every time I watch it, I am surprised afresh by how late in the story Clarence the angel appears, on his mission to show George how bad the world would have looked without him. The film is gripping enough simply with the telling of George's lifestory. A genuine American classic." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Book of 1946 | All the King's Men | Robert Penn Warren | USA | all time #118
"This landmark book is a loosely fictionalized account of Governor Huey Long of Louisiana. All the King's Men tells the story of Willie Stark, a southern-fried politician who builds support by appealing to the common man and playing dirty politics with the best of the back-room deal-makers. Though Stark quickly sheds his idealism, his right-hand man, Jack Burden —who narrates the story— retains it and proves to be a thorn in the new governor's side. Stark becomes a successful leader, but at a very high price, one that eventually costs him his life. The award-winning book is a play of politics, society and personal affairs, all wrapped in the cloak of history." (Publisher)

Record of 1946 | Ko Ko | Charlie Parker's Ri Bop Boys | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #1089
"The two-minute and 53-second record has a simple structure. It begins with the alto saxophone and trumpet playing in unison, followed by Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie trading eight-bar melodic phrases, then another quick unison bridge. "And then bang —and there literally is a bang, Max Roach plays a bang— and it goes into Charlie Parker's solo," says Gary Giddins, author of Celebrating Bird. This was Parker's first record as a leader —his first opportunity to step out front and state his own case for the high-speed melodic inventiveness and off-beat playing that characterized the new style called bebop." (Tom Vitale, NPR)


Books of 1946:
1 | All the King's Men | Robert Penn Warren | USA | #118
2 | Víos kai Politeía tou Aléxē Zorbá (Zorba the Greek) | Nikos Kazantzakis | Greece | #334
3 | Paroles (Words) | Jacques Prévert | France | #1825


Movies of 1946:
1 | It's a Wonderful Life | Frank Capra | USA | #80
2 | My Darling Clementine | John Ford | USA | #121
3 | Notorious | Alfred Hitchcock | USA | UK | #134


Songs of 1946:
1 | Ko Ko | Charlie Parker's Ri Bop Boys | USA | #1089
2 | La mer | Charles Trenet | France | #1650
3 | (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 | The King Cole Trio | USA | #1737


Classical work of 1946 | The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra | Benjamin Britten | UK | #71

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:05 pm

1947



Book of 1947 | Under the Volcano | Malcolm Lowry | UK | all time #82
"To describe his perennial theme, Lowry once borrowed the words of the critic Edmund Wilson: "the forces in man which cause him to be terrified of himself." You see exactly what he means in this coruscating novel, which traces the last 24 hours in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, once the British consul in a hellish Mexican town, now a dedicated but utterly cogent alcoholic in that same town, on a day when his ex-wife has returned in a futile attempt to reach out to him. Shadowed by the hoodlums of the corrupt local officialdom, beset by his own furies, Firmin hurtles himself, annotating his fall all the while, into a pit of suffering. A vertiginous picture of self-destruction, seen through the eyes of a man still lucid enough to report to us all the harrowing particulars." (Publisher)

Movie of 1947 | Black Narcissus | Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger | UK | all time #166
"Run, don't walk to see this 1947 classic from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. With each fade to black, you can see Deborah Kerr's eyes become, subliminally, twin gimlet gleams in the dark. The co-directors created from Rumer Godden's novel an extraordinary melodrama of repressed love and Forsterian Englishness — or rather Irishness — coming unglued in the vertiginous landscape of South Asia. The studio sets and backdrops are superbly and still convincingly rendered, and the film looks more beautiful than ever." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Record of 1947 | La vie en rose | Édith Piaf | France | 78 rpm single | all time #567
"Written in a pavement café on the Champs Elysées in 1945, La vie en rose was a song whose giddy romance swept the French national spirit from the ashes of the second world war and sent it soaring around the world. The sole author of this phoenix song was France's "little sparrow": Édith Piaf. Marianne Michel recorded the song first with Piaf laying down her own, definitive version two years later. As a hymn to a love affair so beautiful that it allows the singer to forget all "les ennuis, les chagrins" (weariness and grief), it saw the tragedienne, like her nation, transcend pain." (Helen Brown, Financial Times)


Books of 1947:
1 | Under the Volcano | Malcolm Lowry | UK | #82
2 | Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde (Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, Told by a Friend) | Thomas Mann | Germany | USA | #130
3 | La Peste (The Plague) | Albert Camus | France | #182


Movies of 1947:
1 | Black Narcissus | Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger | UK | #166
2 | Out of the Past | Jacques Tourneur | USA | #186
3 | Monsieur Verdoux | Charles Chaplin | USA | UK | #272


Songs of 1947:
1 | La vie en rose | Édith Piaf | France | #567
2 | Blue Moon of Kentucky | Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys | USA | #1194
3 | Move On Up a Little Higher | Mahalia Jackson | USA | #1203


Classical work of 1947 | Violin Concerto in D major | Erich Wolfgang Korngold | USA | #74

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:57 pm

1946:

Movie Of 1946 - It's A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, United States)
"It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story and booklet The Greatest Gift, which Philip Van Doren Stern wrote in 1939 and published privately in 1943. The film is one of the most beloved in American cinema, and has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season. The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched, and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be if he had never been born. Despite performing poorly at the box office due to stiff competition at the time of its release, the film has become a classic and is a staple of Christmas television around the world. It's A Wonderful Life is now considered one of the greatest films of all time. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made, as number 11 on its initial 1998 greatest movie list, as number 20 on its revised 2007 greatest movie list, and as number one on its list of the most inspirational American films of all time. Capra revealed that it was his personal favorite among the films he directed and that he screened it for his family every Christmas season." (Wikipedia)

Book Of 1946 - The Berlin Stories (Christopher Isherwood, United Kingdom)
"First published in the 1930s, The Berlin Stories contains two astonishing related novels, The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin, which are recognized today as classics of modern fiction. Isherwood magnificently captures 1931 Berlin: charming, with its avenues and cafes; marvelously grotesque, with its nightlife and dreamers; dangerous, with its vice and intrigue; powerful and seedy, with its mobs and millionaires this is the period when Hitler was beginning his move to power. The Berlin Stories is inhabited by a wealth of characters: the unforgettable Sally Bowles, whose misadventures in the demimonde were popularized on the American stage and screen by Julie Harris in I Am A Camera and Liza Minnelli in Cabaret; Mr. Norris, the improbable old debauchee mysteriously caught between the Nazis and the Communists; plump Fraulein Schroeder, who thinks an operation to reduce the scale of her Buste might relieve her heart palpitations; and the distinguished and doomed Jewish family, the Landauers." (Google Books)

Song Of 1946 - Lover Man (Charlie Parker, United States)
"In July 1946, Parker's heroin habit and chaotic lifestyle caught up with him. The drug was harder to find in Los Angeles, and the saxophonist had drunk a quart of whisky before the July session as an alternative, with Russell holding him upright at the microphone for the Lover Man recording. But if Parker's playing doesn't have its usual fluency and uncanny symmetry, its unsteadiness and fragility express different truths – the great composer Charles Mingus thought this performance was magnificent, for all its flaws. That night, Parker wandered around his hotel lobby naked, set fire to his mattress, was arrested and committed to the Camarillo State Mental hospital. When he emerged – clean – after six months, he recorded the track Relaxin' at Camarillo in ironic reference to the experience." (John Fordham, The Guardian)

Movies Of 1946:
1. It’s A Wonderful Life - Frank Capra (United States)
2. My Darling Clementine - John Ford (United States)
3. The Big Sleep - Howard Hawks (United States)

Books Of 1946:
1. The Berlin Stories - Christopher Isherwood (United Kingdom)
2. The Long Holiday - Francis Ambriere (France)
3. Miracle Of The Rose - Jean Genet (France)

Songs Of 1946:
1. Lover Man - Charlie Parker (United States)
2. La mer - Charles Trenet (France)
3. Jole Blon - Harry Choates (United States)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:58 pm

1947:

Movie Of 1947 - Quai des Orfevres (Henri-Georges Clouzot, France)
"In the postwar Paris, the accompanist pianist Maurice Martineau is a jealous man from the upper class married with the ambitious singer Marguerite Chauffournier Martineau, most known by her artistic name Jenny Lamour, a woman with past from the lower classes. When the lecher but powerful Georges Brignon harasses and invites Jenny for dinner promising a role in a film, Maurice goes to the restaurant and threatens Brignon. A couple of days later, Jenny tells Maurice that she is going to visit her grandmother in another town. However, her husband finds a piece of paper hidden in the kitchen with Brignon's address. Maurice goes to the theater to have an alibi and heads to Brignon's manor during the show with the intention of killing the old man. However, he finds Brignon's house open and the man dead on the floor. When he leaves the crime scene, his car is stolen and Maurice has to walk back to the theater. Meanwhile, Jenny arrives in the house of the lesbian photographer Dora Monier, who is an old friend of Maurice and has a crush on Jenny, and tells Dora that she has just killed Brignon. But Jenny notes that she had forgotten her fur on the couch in the living room of Brignon's house and Dora takes a cab to retrieve the stole. Inspector Antoine is assigned to investigate the case and sooner he visits Jenny, Maurice and Dora to check their alibis for that night in the beginning of his investigation." (Claudio Carvalho, IMDb)

Book Of 1947 - Under The Volcano (Malcolm Lowry, United Kingdom)
"Under the Volcano by the British novelist and poet Malcolm Lowry is considered one of the most influential novels of the 20th century. But given the wrangling that took place during the book’s development, it’s a miracle that it was ever published. The book took Lowry years and many rewrites to complete, and even then faced many rejections. In a famous letter to Jonathan Cape, who eventually published the book in 1947, Lowry remains defiant. He was an expert letter writer and often spent more time on these than on his novels. The publisher had suggested various rewrites to the manuscript, and Lowry replied with a 32-page response detailing precisely (and with consummate literary skill) how and why it was not possible for him to change a word, how all of it was “absolutely necessary". Incredibly, the publisher relented. When the novel finally came out, it unhappily clashed with the publication of The Lost Weekend by Charles R Jackson, another tale of a hopeless alcoholic (adapted into a successful film by Billy Wilder). Nevertheless, critics hailed the novel as a masterpiece and Lowry was contracted for his next book. For a brief time, Under the Volcano was even a set text for anyone studying English language and literature. But Lowry never recovered from the strain of having to follow up his classic work. He could not, as it were, scale and conquer such a monumental peak again." (Mark Goodall, The Independent)

Song Of 1947 - La Vie en rose (Edith Piaf, France)
"After the war, as France sucked up Marshall Plan money and morale-boosting jazz records from the US, Piaf went for a drink with her friend Marianne Michel. The younger singer complained that nobody was writing her any new songs, so Piaf grabbed a piece of paper and dashed off “La Vie en rose” for her. The song’s central metaphor — of seeing the world afresh, through rose-tinted glasses — was something Piaf knew all about, having been blind for several years in her childhood and claiming to have been cured, aged seven, after the prostitutes working in her grandmother’s brothel pooled their earnings to send her on a Catholic pilgrimage. Michel recorded the song first — a sweet, xylophone-frosted version — with Piaf laying down her own, definitive version two years later. As a hymn to a love affair so beautiful that it allows the singer to forget all “les ennuis, les chagrins” (weariness and grief), it saw the tragedienne, like her nation, transcend pain. Piaf’s melody whisks you up in its arms and takes you for a slow, dreamy twirl, briefly breaking hold for a few spoken sections before resuming the dance. Her version sold more than 1m copies and made her name across the Atlantic, where Americans were startled to behold such a tiny woman in a simple black frock, exuding none of the Hollywood glamour to which they were accustomed." (Helen Brown, Financial Times)

Movies Of 1947:
1. Quai des Orfevres - Henri-Georges Clouzot (France)
2. Out Of The Past - Jacques Tourneur (United States)
3. Black Narcissus - Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger (United Kingdom)

Books Of 1947:
1. Under The Volcano - Malcolm Lowry (United Kingdom)
2. If This Is A Man - Primo Levi (Italy)
3. Froth on the Daydream - Boris Vian (France)

Songs Of 1947:
1. La Vie en rose - Edith Piaf (France)
2. Nature Boy - Nat King Cole (United States)
3. You Got To Run Me Down - Jazz Gillum (United States)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:17 pm

1948



Movie of 1948 | Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) | Vittorio De Sica | Italy | all time #13
"Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, Vittorio De Sica's Academy Award–winning Bicycle Thieves defined an era in cinema. In postwar, poverty-stricken Rome, a man, hoping to support his desperate family with a new job, loses his bicycle, his main means of transportation for work. With his wide-eyed young son in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. Simple in construction and dazzlingly rich in human insight, Bicycle Thieves embodied all the greatest strengths of the neorealist film movement in Italy: emotional clarity, social righteousness, and brutal honesty." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1948 | The Naked and the Dead | Norman Mailer | USA | all time #378
"Based on Mailer's own experience of military service in the Philippines during World War Two, The Naked and the Dead is a graphically truthful and shattering portrayal of ordinary men in battle. First published in 1948, as America was still basking in the glories of the Allied victory, it altered forever the popular perception of warfare. Focusing on the experiences of a fourteen-man platoon stationed on a Japanese-held island in the South Pacific during World War II, and written in a journalistic style, it tells the moving story of the soldiers' struggle to retain a sense of dignity amidst the horror of warfare, and to find a source of meaning in their lives amidst the sounds and fury of battle." (Publisher)

Record of 1948 | Boogie Chillen' | John Lee Hooker | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #625
"The riff that launched a million songs, Boogie Chillen' turned all the guitar players loose, each proffering their own brand of boogie after John Lee Hooker stormed to the top of the R&B charts with this crude little piece of Delta blues in 1948. The original was nothing more than Hooker, his electric guitar cranked right up, and his foot stomping away keeping the beat. Over a repeated monochord riff, Hooker made the original mold that all guitar players followed with. Hooker cut several answer records to his own big hit, recorded with everyone from Canned Heat to Bonnie Raitt, making sure that no one forgot to boogie in the years to come." (Cub Koda, All Music)


Books of 1948:
1 | The Naked and the Dead | Norman Mailer | USA | #378
2 | The Heart of the Matter | Graham Greene | UK | #382
3 | Sasameyuki (The Makioka Sisters) | Jun'ichirō Tanizaki | Japan | #402


Movies of 1948:
1 | Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) | Vittorio De Sica | Italy | #13
2 | Letter from an Unknown Woman | Max Opuls | USA | France | #122
3 | Xiao cheng zhi chun (Spring in a Small Town) | Fei Mu | China | #157


Songs of 1948:
1 | Boogie Chillen' | John Lee Hooker | USA | #625
2 | 'Round About Midnight | The Thelonious Monk Quintet | USA | #655
3 | Manteca | Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra | USA | #1654

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:58 pm

1948:

Movie Of 1948 - Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, Italy)
"In his fine essay for the gorgeous new two-disc reissue of Bicycle Thieves, Godfrey Cheshire claims that Vittorio De Sica’s neo-realist classic and Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane are the “twin fountainheads” of modern cinema. From Welles came a cinema of egotism and personal expression; from De Sica, a cinema of collective conscience and social concern. Watching the film today, it’s remarkable to see how certain ideas that were completely radical at the time—the documentary-like location shooting, the non-professional actors, the bare-bones simplicity of the story—have since become the common language of “the real.” And yet Bicycle Thieves, along with maybe Roberto Rossellini’s Open City before it and De Sica’s Umberto D a few years later, remains pure and bracing, an indelible look at postwar Italy through the eyes of a man whose slow-burning desperation finally, tragically robs him of dignity." (Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club)

Book Of 1948 - No Longer Human (Osamu Dazai, Japan)
"Osamu Dazai’s “No Longer Human” comprises a series of three fictionalized notebooks, with each increasingly darker than the last. The character writing these books, Yozo, is detached from the beginning and is afraid of human interactions, but he learns how to socialize with people by playing the clown and entertaining his way into favor from a young age. Yet his alienation remains, despite how he may appear from the outside. People talk of social outcasts,” Dazai writes through Yozo. “The words apparently denote the miserable losers of the world, the vicious ones, but I feel as though I have been a ‘social outcast’ from the moment I was born." (William Bradbury, The Japan Times)

Song Of 1948 - 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk, United States)
"Thelonious Monk probably wrote "'Round Midnight" in 1938, though nobody knows for sure. It was early in his career when Monk was composing in obscurity. But within a few years, Monk would emerge as a great jazz innovator, among those responsible for the birth of bebop in the 1940s. And "'Round Midnight" has since become an enduring classic. Jazz is often romanticized as the sound of the city at night when the bustle has died down and there's time for introspection. But few of its composers ever managed to capture that last call feeling, and none did it quite like Thelonious Monk. He definitely captures the spirit of "Round Midnight,'" says Herbie Hancock, who played the tune frequently with trumpeter Miles Davis in the 1960s. Monk's theme isn't just notes and chords. It's more like a map of those desolate hours. "It's the beauty of the harmonies and how the harmonies fit with the beauty of the melody and the timelessness of that whole creation," says Hancock. "He didn't rest on a typical palette of that age. He tried to find new ways of expressing feelings." (NPR)

Movies Of 1948:
1. Bicycle Thieves - Vittorio De Sica (Italy)
2. The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre - John Huston (United States)
3. They Live By Night - Nicholas Ray (United States)

Books Of 1948:
1. No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai (Japan)
2. The Naked And The Dead - Norman Mailer (United States)
3. Cry, The Beloved Country - Alan Paton (South Africa)

Songs Of 1948:
1.‘Round Midnight - Thelonious Monk (United States)
2. Boogie Chillen’ - John Lee Hooker (United States)
3. It’s Too Soon To Know - The Orioles (United States)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:04 pm

1949



Book of 1949 | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | all time #25
"The novel focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. Orwell elaborates on how a massive Oligarchial Collectivist society such as the one described in Nineteen Eighty-Four would be able to repress any long lived dissent. The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literature. Smith grows disillusioned with his meager existence and so begins a rebellion against the system that leads to his arrest and torture. The novel has become famous for its portrayal of pervasive government surveillance and control, and government's increasing encroachment on the rights of the individual." (Publisher)

Movie of 1949 | The Third Man | Carol Reed | UK | all time #49
"Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime—and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder. Thanks to brilliant performances by Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles; Anton Karas's evocative zither score; Graham Greene's razor-sharp dialogue; and Robert Krasker's dramatic use of light and shadow, The Third Man, directed by the inimitable Carol Reed, only grows in stature as the years pass." (The Criterion Collection)

Record of 1949 | I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | 78 rpm single | all time #257
"Bob Dylan: "Even at a young age, I identified with him. I didn't have to experience anything that Hank did to know what he was singing about. I'd never heard a robin weep, but could imagine it and it made me sad." The artist to whom he's referring, of course, is Hank Williams, and the song is I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Reflecting Hank's tormented feelings toward Audrey Sheppard, his first wife, the song stands as the impossible standard that every country tear-jerker in its wake would like to meet. Only it doesn't achieve its desired effect through someone reciting a long litany of personal problems. Instead Williams imbibes the world around him on a random evening and finds every sight and sound to be a reflection of his own misery." (Jim Beviglia, American Songwriter)


Books of 1949:
1 | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | #25
2 | The Lottery and Other Stories | Shirley Jackson | USA | #692
3 | The Sheltering Sky | Paul Bowles | USA | #724


Movies of 1949:
1 | The Third Man | Carol Reed | UK | #49
2 | Banshun (Late Spring) | Yasujirô Ozu | Japan | #75
3 | Kind Hearts and Coronets | Robert Hamer | UK | #227


Albums of 1949:
1 | Kiss Me, Kate | Original Broadway Cast | USA | #2575
2 | Lee Konitz Quintet/Lennie Tristano Quintet | Lee Konitz Quintet/Lennie Tristano Quintet | USA | #2900


Songs of 1949:
1 | I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | #257
2 | Lovesick Blues | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | #1665
3 | Les feuilles mortes | Yves Montand | France | #2022


Classical work of 1949 | Turangalîla-Symphonie | Olivier Messiaen | USA | France | #81

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:52 pm

1949:

Movie Of 1949 - The Third Man (Carol Reed, United Kingdom)
"I think I was about 14 years old when I first saw "The Third Man" on television, at night, all alone in my room in Los Angeles. It took me deep inside a place and time--postwar Vienna--that I couldn't shake and under no circumstances wanted to shake. It transformed the way I looked at the world. I'm sure you know it can be dangerous to revisit one's favorite movies from childhood. In the harsher light of adulthood, their sterling virtues can evaporate like mirages. But the thing about Carol Reed's 1949 "The Third Man" was that no matter how many times I saw it over the years its magic never failed. Its sophisticated, world-weary glamour never lost its allure. The movie only got richer as my own experiences got richer. I kept discovering dark new delights, and the classic moments remained every bit as classic." (David Ansen, Newsweek)

Book Of 1949 - Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell, United Kingdom)
"The dystopia described in George Orwell’s nearly 70-year-old novel “1984” suddenly feels all too familiar. A world in which Big Brother (or maybe the National Security Agency) is always listening in, and high-tech devices can eavesdrop in people’s homes. (Hey, Alexa, what’s up?) A world of endless war, where fear and hate are drummed up against foreigners, and movies show boatloads of refugees dying at sea. A world in which the government insists that reality is not “something objective, external, existing in its own right” — but rather, “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth". Not surprisingly, “1984” has found a nervous readership in today’s “post-truth” era. It’s an era in which misinformation and fake news have proliferated on the web; Russia is flooding the West with propaganda to affect elections and sow doubts about the democratic process; poisonous tensions among ethnic and religious groups are fanned by right-wing demagogues; and reporters scramble to sort out a cascade of lies and falsehoods told by President Trump and his aides — from false accusations that journalists had invented a rift between him and the intelligence community (when he had compared the intelligence agencies to Nazis) to debunked claims that millions of unauthorized immigrants robbed him of a popular-vote majority." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

Song Of 1949 - Les feuilles mortes (Yves Montand, France)
"Autumn Leaves" is a popular song and jazz standard composed by Joseph Kosma with lyrics by Jacques Prévert. Kosma was a native of Hungary who was introduced to Prévert in Paris. They collaborated on the song "''Les Feuilles mortes'' ("The Dead Leaves") for the 1946 film Les portes de la nuit where it was sung by Irène Joachim. Kosma was influenced by a piece of ballet music, "Rendez-vous" written for Roland Petit, which was itself borrowed partially from "Poème d'octobre" by Jules Massenet. Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics and gave it the title "Autumn Leaves". (Wikipedia)

Movies Of 1949:
1. The Third Man - Carol Reed (United Kingdom)
2. The Reckless Moment - Max Orphuls (United States)
3. White Heat - Raoul Walsh (United States)

Books Of 1949:
1. Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell (United Kingdom)
2. Confessions Of A Mask - Yukio Mishima (Japan)
3. The Hunting Gun - Yasushi Inoue (Japan)

Songs Of 1949:
1. Les feuilles mortes - Yves Montand (France)
2. Riders In The Sky - Vaughn Monroe (United States)
3. Baby Please Don’t Go - Lightnin’ Hopkins (United States)
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:28 pm

Very interesting quote about "Nineteen Eighty-Four," Cold Butterfly! It seems that the only thing Orwell miscalculated was the year when all these things were going to happen…

The 1940s



Movie of the 1940s | Citizen Kane | Orson Welles | USA | 1941 | all time #1
"The source book of Orson Welles, and still a marvellous movie. Thematically less resonant than some of Welles' later meditations on the nature of power, perhaps, but still absolutely riveting as an investigation of a citizen —newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst by any other name— under suspicion of having soured the American Dream. Its imagery as Welles delightedly explores his mastery of a new vocabulary, still amazes and delights, from the opening shot of the forbidding gates of Xanadu to the last glimpse of the vanishing Rosebud (tarnished, maybe, but still a potent symbol). A film that gets better with each renewed acquaintance." (Tom Milne, Time Out)

Book of the 1940s | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | 1949 | all time #25
"The novel focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. Orwell elaborates on how a massive Oligarchial Collectivist society such as the one described in Nineteen Eighty-Four would be able to repress any long lived dissent. The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literature. Smith grows disillusioned with his meager existence and so begins a rebellion against the system that leads to his arrest and torture. The novel has become famous for its portrayal of pervasive government surveillance and control, and government's increasing encroachment on the rights of the individual." (Publisher)

Record of the 1940s | I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | 78 rpm single | 1949 | all time #257
"Bob Dylan: "Even at a young age, I identified with him. I didn't have to experience anything that Hank did to know what he was singing about. I'd never heard a robin weep, but could imagine it and it made me sad." The artist to whom he's referring, of course, is Hank Williams, and the song is I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Reflecting Hank's tormented feelings toward Audrey Sheppard, his first wife, the song stands as the impossible standard that every country tear-jerker in its wake would like to meet. Only it doesn't achieve its desired effect through someone reciting a long litany of personal problems. Instead Williams imbibes the world around him on a random evening and finds every sight and sound to be a reflection of his own misery." (Jim Beviglia, American Songwriter)


Books of the 1940s:
1 | Nineteen Eighty Four | George Orwell | UK | 1949 | #25
2 | L’Étranger (The Stranger) | Albert Camus | France | 1942 | #42
3 | Animal Farm: A Fairy Story | George Orwell | UK | 1945 | #63
4 | The Waste Land and Other Poems | T. S. Eliot | UK | 1940 | collection | #66
5 | For Whom the Bell Tolls | Ernest Hemingway | USA | 1940 | #78
6 | Under the Volcano | Malcolm Lowry | UK | 1947 | #82


Movies of the 1940s:
1 | Citizen Kane | Orson Welles | USA | 1941 | #1
2 | Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) | Vittorio De Sica | Italy | 1948 | #13
3 | Casablanca | Michael Curtiz | USA | 1942 | #35
4 | The Third Man | Carol Reed | UK | 1949 | #49
5 | Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise) | Marcel Carné | France | 1945 | #62


Albums of the 1940s:
1 | Dust Bowl Ballads | Woody Guthrie | USA | 1940 | #850
2 | Kiss Me, Kate | Original Broadway Cast | USA | 1949 | #2575
3 | Lee Konitz Quintet/Lennie Tristano Quintet | Lee Konitz Quintet/Lennie Tristano Quintet | USA | 1949 | #2900


Songs of the 1940s:
1 | I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry | Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys | USA | 1949 | #257
2 | La vie en rose | Édith Piaf | France | 1947 | #567
3 | Boogie Chillen' | John Lee Hooker | USA | 1948 | #625
4 | 'Round About Midnight | The Thelonious Monk Quintet | USA | 1948 | #655
5 | White Christmas | Bing Crosby with Ken Dardy Singers and John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra | USA | 1942 | #867


Classical works of the 1940s:
1 | Concierto de Aranjuez | Joaquín Rodrigo | Spain | 1940 |#6
2 | Appalachian Spring | Aaron Copland | USA | 1944 | #18
3 | Fanfare for the Common Man | Aaron Copland | USA | 1943 | #32
4 | Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time) | Olivier Messiaen | Germany | France | 1941 | #41
5 | Concerto for Orchestra | Béla Bartók | USA | Hungary | 1944 | #42

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:53 pm

I absolutely agree, the New York Times article I stumbled upon about the book pretty much re-established one of the things which makes the book so great, which is that Orwell's vision was disturbingly prophetic, especially today. Although it's relevancy in 2019 is almost scary, it's able to unintentionally reveal the hard reality this world has come to in this day and age. I have a feeling that the portrait of a world that was drawn in the book is sadly going to resonate with future generations just as much, if not more than, our generation today.

If every world leader read Nineteen Eighty-Four, let's say as a requirement, there's no doubt in my mind that we would be better off on this Earth. But that's just a wish.

The 1940s:

Movie Of The 1940s - Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, United States)
"Within the withering spotlight as no other film has ever been before, Orson Welles's "Citizen Kane" had it's world première at the Palace last evening. And now that the wraps are off, the mystery has been exposed and Mr. Welles and the RKO directors have taken the much-debated leap, it can be safely stated that suppression of this film would have been a crime. For, in spite of some disconcerting lapses and strange ambiguities in the creation of the principal character, "Citizen Kane" is far and away the most surprising and cinematically exciting motion picture to be seen here in many a moon. As a matter of fact, it comes close to being the most sensational film ever made in Hollywood. Count on Mr. Welles; he doesn't do things by halves. Being a mercurial fellow, with a frightening theatrical flair, he moved right into the movies, grabbed the medium by the ears and began to toss it around with the dexterity of a seasoned veteran. Fact is, he handled it with more verve and inspired ingenuity than any of the elder craftsmen have exhibited in years. With the able assistance of Gregg Toland, whose services should not be overlooked, he found in the camera the perfect instrument to encompass his dramatic energies and absorb his prolific ideas. Upon the screen he discovered an area large enough for his expansive whims to have free play. And the consequence is that he has made a picture of tremendous and overpowering scope, not in physical extent so much as in its rapid and graphic rotation of thoughts. Mr. Welles has put upon the screen a motion picture that really moves." (Bosley Crowther, The New York Times)

Book Of The 1940s - Native Son (Richard Wright, United States)
"The American author Richard Wright is most famous for this one book. It was his first novel, and on its publication in 1940, it became one of the fastest-selling novels in American literary history: a remarkable feat for a 32-two-year old, largely self-educated, man from Mississippi. It would be fair to say that it changed his life forever. He went on to write many other books, both fiction and non-fiction, but at the time of his death, at the young age of 52 in 1960, many of the obituary notices made reference to Wright as the author of just this one book, 'Native Son'. The novel tells a stark, and somewhat violent, story of a young black man who becomes hardened, and desensitised, by his upbringing in inner-city Chicago. He is an intelligent fellow, but unlike both his sister and his mother, he is not inclined to accept religion into his life as a way of surviving the misery of his existence, nor is he prepared to do as many other men seem to do and reach for the bottle. He takes a respectable job in the house of a wealthy family, but becomes involved in the death of a young woman and finds himself hunted by bigoted officials whom he correctly assumes will neither listen to his version of what happened, nor see him as anything other than a brute. Eventually he is captured and tried. He faces his death sentence with dignity and achieves an insight into his situation that raises him, and his story, to a truly tragic pitch. In a heartbreaking conclusion to the novel, he understands that his life has been squandered. He also comes to accept the fact that there are many more like him, and the system will continue to produce young men who will never reach their full potential because society simply refuses to see them as being anything other than a disposable burden." (Caryl Phillips, The Independent)

Song Of The 1940s - 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk, United States)
"Thelonious Monk probably wrote "'Round Midnight" in 1938, though nobody knows for sure. It was early in his career when Monk was composing in obscurity. But within a few years, Monk would emerge as a great jazz innovator, among those responsible for the birth of bebop in the 1940s. And "'Round Midnight" has since become an enduring classic. Jazz is often romanticized as the sound of the city at night when the bustle has died down and there's time for introspection. But few of its composers ever managed to capture that last call feeling, and none did it quite like Thelonious Monk. He definitely captures the spirit of "Round Midnight,'" says Herbie Hancock, who played the tune frequently with trumpeter Miles Davis in the 1960s. Monk's theme isn't just notes and chords. It's more like a map of those desolate hours. "It's the beauty of the harmonies and how the harmonies fit with the beauty of the melody and the timelessness of that whole creation," says Hancock. "He didn't rest on a typical palette of that age. He tried to find new ways of expressing feelings." Monk is the most important composer to emerge from the bebop revolution of the '40s. By the time he recorded his debut as a band leader, in 1947, "'Round Midnight" was well-known, and other Monk tunes were in circulation among progressive jazz musicians. The saxophonist Sonny Rollins called him a guru, and many others, including John Coltrane, benefited from even short stays in his band. Pianist Fred Hersch, who recorded an album of Monk's music in 1997, says that Monk's compositions were an education in themselves. "If you really look at jazz tune writers, I mean, you really--when all is said and done, you've got to put him at the number one spot in terms of writing interesting music that's durable; that can survive almost any kind of performance; that can be arranged and rearranged and still have the essence of Monkness." (NPR)

Movies Of The 1940s:
1. Citizen Kane - Orson Welles (United States, 1941)
2. Bicycle Thieves - Vittorio De Sica (Italy, 1949)
3. Meshes Of The Afternoon - Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid (United States, 1943)
4. It’s A Wonderful Life! - Frank Capra (United States, 1946)
5. Rome, Open City - Roberto Rossellini (Italy, 1945)
6. Ala-Arriba! - Jose Leitao de Barros (Portugal, 1942)
7. The Third Man - Carol Reed (United Kingdom, 1949)
8. Double Indemnity - Billy Wilder (United States, 1944)
9. The Grapes Of Wrath - John Ford (United States, 1940)
10. Wild Flower - Emilio Fernandez (Mexico, 1943)

Books Of The 1940s:
1. Native Son - Richard Wright (United States, 1940)
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell (United Kingdom, 1949)
3. The Stranger - Albert Camus (France, 1942)
4. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (France, 1943)
5. Selected Poems Of Federico Garcia Lorca - Federico Garcia Lorca (Spain, 1941)
6. Our Lady Of The Flowers - Jean Genet (France, 1943)
7. For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway (United States, 1940)
8. No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai (Japan, 1948)
9. Animal Farm - George Orwell (United Kingdom, 1945)
10. Darkness At Noon - Arthur Koestler (United Kingdom, 1940)

Songs Of The 1940s:
1. ‘Round Midnight - Thelonious Monk (United States, 1948)
2. Where Did You Sleep Last Night - Lead Belly (United States, 1944)
3. Boogie Chillen’ - John Lee Hooker (United States, 1948)
4. Groovin’ High - Dizzy Gillespie (United States, 1945)
5. La vie en Rose - Edith Piaf (France, 1947)
6. Fixin’ To Die Blues - Bukka White (United States, 1940)
7. Nature Boy - Nat King Cole (United States, 1947)
8. I’ll Never Smile Again - Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers (United States, 1940)
9. Driftin’ Blues - Charles Brown with Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers (United States, 1945)
10. God Bless The Child - Billie Holiday (United States, 1941)
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:15 pm

Excellent lists, Cold Butterfly!

1950



Movie of 1950 | Rashômon (Rashomon) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | all time #20
"A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accounts of a man's murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks. This eloquent masterwork and international sensation revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema —and a commanding new star by the name of Toshiro Mifune— to the Western world." (The Criterion Collection)

Book of 1950 | The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe | C. S. Lewis | UK | all time #180
"World War II has just begun and four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are evacuated from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who lives in a country house in the English countryside with his housekeeper, Mrs Macready. One rainy day, the children decide to explore the house. Lucy, the youngest, is curious about the wardrobe in an empty room, and discovers that it is a portal to a snow-covered forest with a gaslight post in the center. There she meets a faun, who introduces himself as Tumnus and invites her home for tea. He tells her that the land is called Narnia and is ruled by the ruthless White Witch, who ensures that it is always Winter but never Christmas." (Publisher)

Record of 1950 | The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert | Benny Goodman | USA | album (double vinyl LP) | all time #622
"Rightly proclaimed as being the most significant concert in jazz history, the Jan. 16, 1938, appearance of the Benny Goodman orchestra at Carnegie Hall was not only an unprecedented coup for jazz and racially integrated public performance, as has so often been stated. It also served to open the doors of this prestigious venue to events as far ranging as John Hammond’s 1938 and 1939 From Spirituals to Swing all-star concerts to Goodman once again in 1978 for his 40th anniversary celebration. Originally issued in a two-LP gatefold album in 1950, the nearly forgotten documentation of this historic event quickly became Columbia’s best-selling jazz release, a distinction it was to hold for decades to come." (Jack Sohmer, Jazz Times)


Books of 1950:
1 | The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe | C. S. Lewis | UK | #180
2 | The Collected Stories of William Faulkner | William Faulkner | USA | collection | #497
3 | La luna e i falò (The Moon and the Bonfires) | Cesare Pavese | Italy | #677
4 | Pinjar (The Skeleton) | Amrita Pritam | India | #907


Movies of 1950:
1 | Rashômon (Rashomon) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | #20
2 | Sunset Blvd. | Billy Wilder | USA | #34
3 | All About Eve | Joseph L. Mankiewicz | USA | #116


Albums of 1950:
1 | The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert | Benny Goodman | USA | #622
2 | Charlie Parker With Strings | Charlie Parker | USA | #2192


Songs of 1950:
1 | Rollin' Stone | Muddy Waters | USA | #1535
2 | Goodnight Irene | Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra & The Weavers | USA | #2085
3 | The Fat Man | Fats Domino with Orchestra Accompaniment | USA | #2158


Classical work of 1950 | Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) | Richard Strauss | UK | Germany | #11

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:22 pm

1951



Book of 1951 | The Catcher in the Rye | J. D. Salinger | USA | all time #20
"The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. A controversial novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescents for its themes of teenage angst and alienation. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages. Around one million copies are sold each year with total sales of more than 65 million books. The novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, and connection. Due to its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality, it has frequently been met with censorship challenges in the United States making it one of the most challenged books of the 20th century." (Publisher)

Movie of 1951 | The River | Jean Renoir | France | all time #165
"Director Jean Renoir's entrancing first color feature —shot entirely on location in India— is a visual tour de force. Based on the novel by Rumer Godden, the film eloquently contrasts the growing pains of three young women with the immutability of the holy Bengal River, around which their daily lives unfold. Enriched by Renoir's subtle understanding and appreciation for India and its people, The River gracefully explores the fragile connections between transitory emotions and everlasting creation." (The Criterion Collection)

Record of 1951 | This Land Is My Land | Woody Guthrie | USA | album track | all time #303
"This Land Is Your Land wasn't released by Folkways until 1951, but the song was originally written in February 1940, when Woody Guthrie first arrived in New York City from Oklahoma. He was irritated by Irving Berlin's God Bless America, sung by Kate Smith, which seemed to be endlessly playing on the radio in the late 1930s. So irritated, in fact, that he wrote this song as a retort, at first sarcastically calling it God Blessed America for Me before renaming it This Land Is Your Land. Guthrie's original words to the song included this verse: "There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me / The sign was painted, said 'Private Property' / But on the backside, it didn't say nothing / This land was made for you and me." (Nick Spitzer, NPR)


Books of 1951:
1 | The Catcher in the Rye | J. D. Salinger | USA | #20
2 | Mémoires d'Hadrien (Memoirs of Hadrian) | Marguerite Yourcenar | France | USA | #239
3 | A Dance to the Music of Time: A Question of Upbringing | Anthony Powell | UK | #264


Movies of 1951:
1 | The River | Jean Renoir | France | #165
2 | Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest) | Robert Bresson | France | #230
3 | Bakushû (Early Summer) | Yasujirô Ozu | Japan | #448


Album of 1951 | Genius of Modern Music | Thelonious Monk | USA | #554


Songs of 1951:
1 | This Land Is My Land | Woody Guthrie | USA | #303
2 | Rocket "88" | Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats | USA | #341
3 | Dust My Broom | Elmo James | USA | #909

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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:58 pm

No problem, Honorio!

1950:

Movie Of 1950 - Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
"Rashômon is about a court proceeding, recalled in flashback, relating to a mysterious crime. A bandit, Tajômaru (Toshirô Mifune) is on trial for murdering a samurai (Mayasuki Mori) and raping his wife (Machiko Kyô) in the remote forest. Each of these three figures addresses the court, the dead man via a medium – an amazingly, electrifyingly strange conceit, carried off with absolute conviction. A fourth witness (Takashi Shimura) offers his own version, again different. But it is not just a matter of the witnesses being slippery: crucially, the bandit, the samurai and the samurai's wife each claim to have committed the murderous act themselves, the samurai by suicide. Truth, history, memory and the past … are these just fictions? One character is told that lying is natural for all of us, and it is in the discrepancies that the essence of our humanity resides. Kurosawa invests the unknowability of the event with horror, suggesting that the three of them somehow chanced upon, or created, a black hole in human thought and communication, whose confusion and violence can never be clearly explained or remembered, as in the Marabar caves in A Passage to India with their endless echoing "Bo-oum". Unmissable." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Book Of 1950 - The Red Grass (Boris Vian, France)
"Boris Vian (1920-1959) was a magnificent jack-of-all-trades--actor, jazz critic, engineer, musician, playwright, songwriter, translator--not to mention the leading social light of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés scene. His third major novel, Red Grass is a provocative narrative about an engineer, Wolf, who invents a bizarre machine that allows him to revisit his past and erase inhibiting memories. A frothing admixture of Breton, Freud, Carroll, Hammett, Kafka and Wells, Red Grass is one of Vian's finest and most enduring works, a satire on psychoanalysis--which Vian wholly and vigorously disapproved of--that inflects science fiction with dark absurdity and the author's great wit. Much in the novel can be regarded as autobiography, as our hero attempts to liberate himself from past traumatic events in the arenas of religion, social life and--of course--sex." (Google Books)

Album Of 1950 - Charlie Parker With Strings (Charlie Parker, United States)
"When producer Norman Granz decided to let Charlie Parker record standards with a full string section (featuring Mitch Miller on oboe!), the purists cried sellout, but nothing could be further from the truth. There's a real sense of involvement from Bird on these sides, which collect up all the master takes and also include some live tracks from Carnegie Hall that -- judging from the sometimes uneasy murmurings of the crowd -- amply illustrate just how weirdly this mixture of bop lines against "legit" arrangements was perceived. The music on this collection is lush, poetic, romantic as hell, and the perfect antidote to a surfeit of jazz records featuring undisciplined blowing. There's a lot of jazz, but there's only one Bird." (Cub Koda, AllMusic)

Song Of 1950 - Rollin' Stone (Muddy Waters, United States)
"Rollin' Stone" is a blues song recorded by Muddy Waters in 1950. It is his interpretation of "Catfish Blues", a Delta blues that dates back to 1920s Mississippi. Although the single (with "Walkin' Blues" as the B-side) did not appear in the national record charts, it sold about 70,000 copies. "Still a Fool", recorded by Muddy Waters a year later using the same arrangement and melody, reached number nine on the Billboard R&B chart. "Rollin' Stone" has been recorded by a variety of artists, and both Rolling Stone magazine and the rock group the Rolling Stones are named after the song." (Wikipedia)

Movies Of 1950:
1. Rashomon - Akira Kurosawa (Japan)
2. Sunset Boulevard - Billy Wilder (United States)
3. Los Olvidados - Luis Bunuel (Mexico)

Books Of 1950:
1. The Red Grass - Boris Vian (France)
2. Pinjar - Amrita Pritam (India)
3. The Dying Earth - Jack Vance (United States)

Album Of 1950:
1. Charlie Parker With Strings - Charlie Parker (United States)

Songs Of 1950:
1. Rollin’ Stone - Muddy Waters (United States)
2. Please Send Me Someone To Love - Percy Mayfield (United States)
3. Mambo #5 - Perez Prado (Cuba)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

Cold Butterfly
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Location: Ashburn, Virginia

Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:59 pm

1951:

Movie Of 1951 - Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, Japan)
"The Mamiya family is seeking a husband for their daughter, Noriko, but she has ideas of her own. Played by the extraordinary Setsuko Hara, Noriko impulsively chooses her childhood friend, at once fulfilling her family's desires while tearing them apart. A seemingly simple story, Early Summer is one of Yasujiro Ozu's most complex works—a nuanced examination of life's changes across three generations." (The Criterion Collection)

Book Of 1951 - The Catcher In The Rye (J.D. Salinger, United States)
"Although a few pious schools continue to ban Salinger’s only published novel, for millions of adults, a faded copy of “The Catcher in the Rye” is a sweet teenage treasure, as transgressive as a trophy from band camp. Ninth-graders who secretly read the book with a flashlight when it came out in 1951 are now in their 80s. To read it again as an adult is to feel Holden’s pain lingering like a phantom limb. His righteous cynicism is adolescence distilled into a sweet liquor. But the novel also feels like revisiting your first house. The familiarity is enchanting but discombobulating. The story is smaller than you remember, and some details you had completely wrong. But what’s most striking is how common the novel’s tone has become over the intervening decades. Holden is Patient Zero for generations infected by his misanthropy. We live in a world overpopulated by privileged white guys who mistake their depression for existential wisdom, their narcissism for superior vision. We have met the phonies and they are us." (Ron Charles, The Washington Post)

Album Of 1951 - Genius Of Modern Music (Volume One) (Thelonious Monk, United States)
"Volume 1 of the two-volume Genius of Modern Music set comprises the first sessions Thelonious Monk recorded as a leader, on October 15 and 24 and November 21 of 1947. It's impossible to overstate the importance of these sessions. They include some of the earliest recordings of Monk compositions that would become standards, despite their angularity and technical difficulty: the strange, sideways chord progression of "Thelonious"; the bouncy and cheerful but melodically cockeyed "Well, You Needn't"; the post-bop Bud Powell tribute "In Walked Bud"; and, of course, "'Round Midnight," which is now one of the most frequently recorded jazz compositions ever. There are kinks to be worked out: Art Blakey's drumming is fine, but he obviously hasn't quite taken the measure of Monk's compositional genius, and on the November session, alto saxophonist Sahib Shihab employs a fat, warbly tone that sounds out of place. But the excitement of discovery permeates every measure, and Monk himself is in top form, his solos jagged and strange, yet utterly beautiful. This first volume of Genius of Modern Music, along with the second, belongs in every jazz collection." (Rick Anderson, AllMusic)

Song Of 1951 - Cry (Johnnie Ray, United States)
"Ray originally wanted to be an actor, but when he was unable to find dramatic work he focused on singing. He got his big break at the Flame Show Bar, a black nightclub in Detroit, where he said he developed his distinctive emotional and physical style of performing. He would roam freely across the stage, tear at his hair, wave his sinewy arms, rip down curtains, fall to the floor, contort his face, and let the tears flow. His phrasing was brilliant, and his lyrics were infused with passion and a sense of urgency. Ray's performances at the Flame Show Bar brought him to the attention of record company executives, and in October of 1951 he recorded "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried." The songs seemed to be a call to revolution, and they shook the musical world. His record shot up in the charts, stayed at number one for eleven weeks, and eventually sold three million copies." (The Oregon Encyclopedia)

Movies Of 1951:
1. Early Summer - Yasujiro Ozu (Japan)
2. The River - Jean Renoir (France)
3. Decision Before Dawn - Anatole Litvak (United States)

Books Of 1951:
1. The Catcher In The Rye - J.D. Salinger (United States)
2. The Day Of The Triffids - John Wyndham (United Kingdom)
3. The End Of The Affair - Graham Greene (United Kingdom)

Album Of 1951:
1. Genius Of Modern Music (Volume One) - Thelonious Monk (United States)

Songs Of 1951:
1. Cry - Johnnie Ray (United States)
2. How High The Moon - Les Paul & Mary Ford (United States)
3. Dust My Broom - Elmore James (United States)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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Honorio
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Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:17 pm

1952



Movie of 1952 | Singin' in the Rain | Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly | USA | all time #12
"There is no movie musical more fun than Singin' in the Rain, and few that remain as fresh over the years. Its originality is all the more startling if you reflect that only one of its songs was written new for the film, that the producers plundered MGM's storage vaults for sets and props, and that the movie was originally ranked below An American in Paris, which won a best picture Oscar. The verdict of the years knows better than Oscar: Singin' in the Rain is a transcendent experience, and no one who loves movies can afford to miss it. Singin' in the Rain pulses with life; in a movie about making movies, you can sense the joy they had making this one." (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Book of 1952 | Invisible Man | Ralph Ellison | USA | all time #36
"Invisible Man is a novel written by Ralph Ellison, and the only one that he published during his lifetime (his other novels were published posthumously). It won him the National Book Award in 1953. The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marxism, and the reformist racial policies of Booker T. Washington, as well as issues of individuality and personal identity." (Publisher)

Record of 1952 | The Amazing Bud Powell | Bud Powell | USA | album (10" vinyl) | all time #917
"The Amazing Bud Powell is the product of two separate recording sessions, one of a quintet on August 9, 1949, the other of a trio on May 1, 1951, originally released on the Blue Note label in 10-inch LP form. As the leader on both the recording dates, Powell's playing is naturally showcased. But what a treat to hear Fats Navarro —a bebop icon who died way too young— along with Sonny Rollins and Roy Haynes, both of whom are still alive, still playing, and whose evolving approaches to the music we've been able to witness over all these years. Not to mention Max Roach, who many consider to have been the greatest drummer in jazz history." (Terry MacDonald, Seacoast Jazz Society)


Books of 1952:
1 | Invisible Man | Ralph Ellison | USA | #36
2 | The Old Man and the Sea | Ernest Hemingway | USA | #64
3 | En attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) | Samuel Beckett | France | Ireland | #95


Movies of 1952:
1 | Singin' in the Rain | Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly | USA | #12
2 | Ikiru (Ikiru) | Akira Kurosawa | Japan | #112
3 | Umberto D. (Umberto D.) | Vittorio de Sica | Italy | #184


Albums of 1952:
1 | The Amazing Bud Powell | Bud Powell | USA | #917
2 | Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 2 | Thelonious Monk | USA | #1075
3 | Bird and Diz | Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie | USA | #2003


Songs of 1952:
1 | Lawdy Miss Clawdy | Lloyd Price and His Orchestra | USA | #1215
2 | It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels | Kitty Wells | USA | #1369
3 | Singin' in the Rain | Gene Kelly with Lennie Hayton and the MGM Studio Orchestra | USA | #1685

Cold Butterfly
Different Class
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Location: Ashburn, Virginia

Re: Books, movies and records of the year

Post by Cold Butterfly » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:35 am

1952:

Movie Of 1952 - Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica, Italy)
“This neorealist masterpiece by Vittorio De Sica follows an elderly pensioner as he strives to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery. Alone except for his dog, Flike, Umberto struggles to maintain his dignity in a city where human kindness seems to have been swallowed up by the forces of modernization. His simple quest to satisfy his basic needs—food, shelter, companionship—makes for one of the most heartbreaking stories ever filmed, and an essential classic of world cinema” (The Criterion Collection)

Book Of 1952 - Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison, United States)
“IIn 2012, I was a high-school English teacher in Prince George’s County, Maryland, when Trayvon Martin, a boy who looked like so many of my students, was killed in the suburbs of Florida. Before then, I had envisioned my classroom as a place for my students to escape the world’s harsher realities, but Martin’s death made the dream of such escapism seem impossible and irrelevant. Looking for guidance, I picked up Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, “Invisible Man,” which had been a fixture of the “next to read” pile on my bookshelf for years. “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me,” Ellison writes in the prologue. The unnamed black protagonist of the novel, set between the South in the nineteen-twenties and Harlem in the nineteen-thirties, wrestles with the cognitive dissonance of opportunity served up alongside indignity. He receives a scholarship to college from a group of white men in his town after engaging in a blindfolded boxing match with other black boys, to the delight of the white spectators. In New York, he is pulled out of poverty and given a prominent position in a communist-inspired “Brotherhood” only to realize that these brothers are using him as a political pawn. This complicated kind of progress seemed to me to accurately reflect how, for the marginalized in America, choices have never been clear or easy. I put the book on my syllabus.” (Clint Smith, The New Yorker)

Album Of 1952 - The Amazing Bud Powell (Bud Powell, United States)
“One could argue that Bud Powell influenced more pianists than any one else. More than any of his contemporaries, Powell adapted the innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to the piano. A less fluid, but very provocative solo was on one of the early uses of Latin rhythms in bebop, "Un Poco Loco." Here, Bud uses some chords that sound like his mentor, Thelonious Monk.“ (A.B. Spellman, NPR)

Song Of 1952 - The Bells (Billy Ward And His Dominoes, United States)
"The Bells" is a rhythm and blues song written by Billy Ward and Rose Ann Marks and recorded by Billy Ward and His Dominoes in 1952, featuring Clyde McPhatter on lead tenor. It was released on Federal Records as the B-side of the group's single "Pedal Pushin' Papa". It was a bigger hit than the A-side, reaching #3 on the R&B chart. ("Pedal Pushin' Papa" charted #4 R&B.) The Bells" played an important part in the early careers of James Brown and The Famous Flames. In their performances on the chitlin' circuit the group would act out the story of bereavement told in the lyrics, pushing a doll representing the dead woman across the stage in a baby carriage. As they passed Brown, he would fall to his knees crying and sobbing, eventually segueing into "Please, Please, Please". The routine was so popular that audiences sometimes became violent if they tried to perform the song without it.” (Wikipedia)

Movies Of 1952:
1. Umberto D. - Vittorio De Sica (Italy)
2. Ikiru - Arika Kurosawa (Japan)
3. High Noon - Fred Zinnemann (United States)

Books Of 1952:
1. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison (United States)
2. The Old Man And The Sea - Ernest Hemingway (United States)
3. Collected Poems Of Dylan Thomas - Dylan Thomas (United States)

Albums Of 1952:
1. The Amazing Bud Powell - Bud Powell (United States)
2. Anthology Of American Folk Music - Various Artists (United States)
3. Bird & Diz - Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie (United States)

Songs Of 1952:
1. The Bells - Billy Ward And His Dominoes (United States)
2. Juke - Little Walter (United States)
3. Mad About The Boy - Dinah Washington (United States)
"I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Sometimes I did the same, abusing my power, full of resentment" - Kendrick Lamar

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