Our Saturday Car Post

For the last year
or so, our posts
on Saturday have
been about
automobiles
and motorcycles,
and truthfully,
I’ve
been worried about
running out of
interesting stuff to
talk about in that
vein..

… but I did find some
cool things at the local
card and stamp show
which helped inspire
today’s post.

These postcards are all
from the time period
between 1900-1910 –

– and were published
by the Raphael Tuck
and Sons Company,
based in London,
England.

This company produced
beautiful cards from 1871
to the late 1950’s, and was
a leading manufacturer in
the field.

The tragic part of the
Tuck and Sons story
is that during World
War II, their London
factory was burned
to the ground by
Nazi bombs, and the
product of over 70 years –
about 40,000 individual
and original pieces of art –
were lost to the flames.

What a waste.

Today’s series is called
” Motor Car For Sale ”
and takes a whimsical
look at car ownership
in the early days of
motoring.

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Mary And Her Monkey

edAs I have been
heard to say
more than once…..

Our Edwardian
predecessors could
get downright weird.

Their postcards
show this
tendency very clearly.

Oh sure, I know — monk
it’s just harmless fun, sure.

Until somebody puts
an eye out or something.

Alright, so I don’t know
what I’m talking about.
monk2
That’s never stopped us
around here before.

The truth is that sometimes,
their humor has completely
lost it’s meaning to us
modern-day in-the-know folk,

monk3— and we really don’t know
what the hell they
were talking about.

I’d LOVE to say
I get the joke,
but a lot of references
just get very lost in
the fog of history
and changes in language.  4

So, even a seemingly
simple, dirty spin
on a nursery rhyme
requires a PhD in
cultural anthropology
to really be understood.

As far as the naughty
symbolism 5is concerned,
I’m thinking that we
we might have simply
switched animals over
the course of a century……

And I’m betting she woulda
had a lot more fun with
that monkey if she had
just gone ahead 6
and shaved it.

Just sayin’.

!!!! HOY !!!!!!!

Today’s Cover Story

Ok, yes
it’s been a
while since
we had some
blog-o-tastic
fun with vintage
song sheets…

(here’s a
previous
post on the
subject)

so,
maybe today
we’ll see what
fun stuff that
we have in the
archives that
hasn’t been
posted here yet.

It’s pretty much
a passe thing
today, but there
was quite a
large, profitable
market for
sheet music
and song sheets
in the early part
of the 20th century.

These days,
we have
recorded
music being
utilized just
about
everywhere….

But, back then,
notwithstanding
the very limited and
unsatisfying quality
of musical recordings
as they slowly became
available, most people,
well into the 1930’s,
preferred music that
was performed live –
in restaurants, bars,
cabarets, burlesques,
strip joints, band shells,
speakeasies, carnivals,
medicine shows, revivals,
yes, even at the movie
theatre.

A large percentage
of educated people
in the U.S. and Britain
played at least one
instrument at the time,
and that usually meant
folks had plenty of sheet
music to go with it.

Song sheets
proliferated
in every musical
genre, from John
Philip Sousa style
marches,
all the way up
and down the
scales –

— blues,
gospel,
classical pieces,
tangos,
folk songs,
and operettas,
to ragtime
jazz.

The large publishing
houses that printed
music in New York
City were collectively
called
” Tin Pan Alley “,
and you still
occasionally
hear that phrase
used today…..

but before the
rise of radio and
the phonograph,
it’s hard to imagine
just how essential
these early publishers
were to the period’s
culture and
entertainment.

I personally
especially
treasure the ones
that had an
interesting or
suggestive theme
or illustration on
the cover —

— or feature music
written for an
unusual instrument
like the ukelele or
the contra-bassoon.

But believe me,
suggestive covers
were effective in
selling more
sheet music
than the
potential
hit songs inside
them ever did. 

There was a lot
of very good
music being
written
and published,
of course –

– but there were
also a lot of songs
that wouldn’t
seem to have been
worth the price
of printing –
except for
the novelty
aspect of them.

And of course,
that’s what
got them
featured on
today’s
Muscleheaded Blog,
cause we love
a little novelty
around here.

!!! HOY !!!

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