Browse Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Library

By Patrick Williams On Monday’s National Poetry Month-themed Sound Beat episode, we heard some lines from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s 1931 book of sonnets Fatal Interview. Brett mentioned a note of dedication in the copy of that book found in the poet George Dillon’s library after his death. But have you ever wondered what was [...]

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Record Store Day Logo

Record Store Day

by Patrick Williams April may be known as the cruelest month, but not if you are a fan of vinyl records. Sales and production of new vinyl LPs have experienced a staggering rise in the the last decade or so. One expression of this renewed popularity comes around on the third Saturday of every April. [...]

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Signals, Calls, & Marches

By Patrick Williams For college football fans, the early winter weeks can be brutal— not just because half of our teams will inevitably lose their final games, but because the weekly tradition of rooting for those teams recedes into memory as players declare for the NFL draft, coaches get fired, and we get a lot [...]

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“You can’t cook with a test-tube mind.”

By Patrick Williams “Food is important. Especially at meals.” These are Arthur “Bugs” Baer’s opening words to George Rector’s 1937 book Dine at Home with Rector: A Book on What Men Like, How They Like It, and How to Cook It. This thick volume documents the adventures and advice of the restaurant titan and gastronimical [...]

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The Morbid Moods of Vernon Dalhart

By Patrick Williams Disaster and tragedy were all-too-common facets of everyday life in early 20th century America. One need only browse the front page of any regional newspaper of the era to encounter tales of lives torn away in struggles with the technologies being developed in the name of making life easier. The newspapers had [...]

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That Sound Beat sound….

It’s bittersweet getting to the end of every Sound Beat episode. Bitter because our time together is nearly over, but made so sweet by that Sound Beat Theme. We’re beyond fortunate to have had David Wolfert compose the piece for us. David is a Grammy and Emmy nominated composer, arranger, songwriter, orchestrator, producer and instrumentalist [...]

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The Real Thoroughbred Races of 1948

By Patrick Williams It was a big year for the Kentucky Derby, and for thoroughbread racing in general, but it wasn’t because of the triumph of Feetlebaum in Spike Jones’s 1948 William Tell Overture. That year, Citation, ridden by Eddie Arcaro and bred by Calumet Farm, won not only the Kentucky Derby, but also the [...]

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Baum’s Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, 1908

Written by Mason Vander Lugt, Syracuse University catalog librarian and proprietor of  the historical music blog Dinosaur Discs. After experimenting with Irish comic-dramas on stage between 1891 and 1895, and his successful theatrical production of The Wizard of Oz in 1902, L. Frank Baum took the Oz franchise in a wonderful (if ill-fated) direction with [...]

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Jazz: The “Harlem Shake” of Harlem

Written by Mason Vander Lugt, Syracuse University catalog librarian and proprietor of  the historical music blog Dinosaur Discs. Admitting that the craze for the “Harlem Shake” will probably have died down by the time this makes it to print press you, I felt obliged to give a little background info on the burrough that has [...]

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Blue Tail Fly

Written by Mason Vander Lugt, Syracuse University catalog librarian and proprietor of  the historical music blog Dinosaur Discs. The ‘Blue Tail Fly’, or ‘Jim Crack Corn’, dates back to Jan. 1846, the heyday of American minstrelsy. It tells a story of a young slave and his master and reflects some nuance of the race dynamics [...]

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