Striking a Chord with a Victor Records Catalog, June 1929

by Paul R. Spitzzeri With the evolution of media continuing to bring about staggering transformations in very short periods of time, we've become accustomed to having these changes occur virtually continuously.  In some ways, our sense of wonder is blunted because of how we've been conditioned with revolutions in technology. In the early 20th century,... Continue Reading →

Striking a Chord with Los Angeles Music Week, 19-26 May 1923

by Paul R. Spitzzeri In the first decades of the 20th century, greater Los Angeles was the scene of many conventions, fairs, expositions, festivals and other major events for local, state and national organizations and industries.  Whether it was La Fiesta de Los Angeles (a.k.a, La Fiesta de las Flores); conventions for fraternal organizations like... Continue Reading →

Striking a Chord with “The Overture” Magazine, 15 May 1929

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Formed in Los Angeles in 1897, Local 47 of the American Federation of Musicians is a union for professional musicians, including those who do studio work, films, television, touring, perform in orchestras and symphonies and who are composers, arrangers, producers, engineers, and freelancers. The first local musicians union, the Musical Protective... Continue Reading →

Striking a Chord: Paul Whiteman’s Recording of “Button Up Your Overcoat/My Lucky Star,” February 1929

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Paul Whiteman (1890-1967) was accounted the "King of Jazz," a title that made him a target of critics who said that his well-arranged and precisely performed orchestral popular music, while including ornaments of jazz sounds, lacked the improvisation, syncopation and general power and excitement of real jazz. More authentic versions, according... Continue Reading →

Striking a Chord: A Woman’s Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles Program, 9 February 1927

by Paul R. Spitzzeri This year marks the centennial of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, established under the patronage of William Andrews Clark, Jr., son of the mining tycoon who left his mark in many areas and ways in the American West stemming from his spectacular success as one of the "copper kings" of Butte,... Continue Reading →

Striking a Chord with a Grand Opera Festival, Los Angeles, December 1912-January 1913

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Among the many indications that Los Angeles was, in the first years of the 20th century, emerging into a major American metropolis was the growth of the arts.  This applied to the so-called "legitimate theater" as well as the onrush of film; the increase in the "fine arts"; the 1913 opening... Continue Reading →

Striking a Chord With a Recording by the “Prince of Pep,” Charlie Wellman of KHJ Radio, Los Angeles, October 1928

by Paul R. Spitzzeri In the early days of Los Angeles radio, one of the first major stations to go on the airwaves was KHJ, launched in April 1922 by C.R. Kielruiff and Company.  Though it has been said that the call letters were for "Kindness, Happiness and Joy," there are other indications that the... Continue Reading →

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