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World War I Sheet Music at the Library of Congress

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>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington D.C.>>Paul Fraunfelter: Good afternoon. I’m Paul Fraunfelter
with the Music Division. And I call this presentation, World
War One Sheet Music at the Library of Congress, America’s War as
Viewed by Publishers and the Public. So, 100 years ago today,
Congress was across the street debating
President Wilson’s war resolution. And very soon, songs like the
hit, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier,” and the
“Neutrality Rag,” would no longer be in the national interest. During the period of
neutrality, anger at Germany and sympathy towards France and
Britain, had steadily increased. Yet, when the War Declaration came,
there was little public interest or enthusiasm to actively join in with what was then
called the European War. In order to gain support
for the war effort and help spread the
national message, President Wilson established the
Committee on Public Information. The CPI was the official
government propaganda instrument. And very quickly, their
activities became widespread and pervasive in American life. Only around for two years, CPI
quickly expanded from propaganda. Got into censorship. Attempted to control all war
news that reached the public. And even engaged in public
attacks on groups or individuals that it felt were less
than 100% American. Today, the CPI is usually
remembered for two things. The posters it commissioned
and the work of its film unit. The picture you see up here, the
image, is — that covers both basis. This is a poster about
one of their movies there, one of their two feature
films that they had. It’s also an example of what
you can find in the prints and photographs division,
online World War One posters. There’s a lot of cool stuff there. I love going there. But for the ability to
reach a mass audience, in a time before mass
communications, probably their most effective
initiative was the Speaker series. CPI sponsored programs that featured
patriotic, often inflammatory or incendiary speeches,
given by Four Minute Men. So called for the length
of these addresses. And this really was a
saturation campaign. These meetings kind of took
like a town hall sort of format. Any place they could get
a room, you know, schools, churches, maybe libraries. Every village, every town,
any place they could get in. By the end of the war, over 750,000 of these speeches had
been given nationwide. The programs also finished — finished, well, maybe they
finished with it, maybe not. But they also included
patriotic group singing. Similarly called Four
Minute Singing. And this is also another CPI poster. And note the blank
space at the bottom, where local printers
could put venue and date and time information
for upcoming shows. So, with the war, now foremost in
the public’s mind, the songwriters of New York Cities, Tin Pan Alley,
the music publishing district, now began producing work
reflective of the new reality. In 1917, the Vaudeville
Variety Stage, was the nation’s chief source
of public entertainment. And the cinema, of
course, was still silent. It had not overtaken Vaudeville yet. Recording was important, but at that
time, considered a secondary market. And of course, broadcast radio
was several years in the future. The publishers promoted their
songs to the Vaudeville performers or their agents, to get
them to perform the songs. Present them to the public
on the Vaudeville circuit. Hopefully make hits, which would
drive demand for the sheet music. Sheet music sales was the
publishers chief source of income, at that time. And this was still, you know,
very much the era of the piano in the parlor and making
your own music at home. In 2013, the music division,
catalogued and scanned about 14,000 pieces of World
War One classified sheet music. As you can see in the breakdown,
about 80% of it’s printed. About 20% of it is manuscript. From the printed, there’s a 60, 40
split between for profit commercial and self-published and
amateur vanity press. The manuscripts are essentially
all copyright deposits. But within that, it’s
kind of a mix bag of what they may have
been when they came in. There are pieces that
are obviously the work of an experienced musician
or a copyist. There’s some really rough stuff
that’s obviously amateur work. And there’s even more
gray area in-between. Where it’s hard to determine
where that may have come from. There’s also a good chunk of non-print manuscript
vanity press pieces. But I’d say probably
about 35 to 40% of it. We have well over 1,2000
pieces in there. And there are also manuscript
drafts that were sent in for copyright deposit, prior
to subsequent publication. If you dig around in the website
long enough and you look around, you’ll realize that
there are many songs that we have both the
copyright deposit manuscript and the first printed edition. So, overall, what we have in
the collection, is a collection that was created by
publishers and the public. I want to talk a little
bit about the Vanity Press. The column that you see here, is a detail from the sheet
music websites display list. And the top nine entries,
the most prolific producers of World War One songs, are all either Vanity Press
song writers or publishers. There’s a little intersection
in the numbers here. You see Leo Friedman and North
American Music are very close. Well, Leo Friedman was associated
with North American Music. Similarly, Hector Richard here,
was associated with Legters. Also, not all these song
writers worked exclusively for the Vanity Press. Or at least some point
of the careers, they did freelance or outside work. Leo Friedman had a hit. He wrote the music for “Let
Me Call You Sweetheart.” And George Graff, down
here, wrote the music for “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” The basic agreement was
that someone with a poem, usually an original poem,
that they wanted set to music, to make a song of. Would contact a Vanity Press and
pay them to have their song writer or pulper, as they were known,
to set the song to music. And the Vanity Press would
take care of copyright deposit. Beyond that, there are two
different business models found in the collection. The first is that the client
would then choose from a selection of standard cover illustrations. Here you see four. There were about 16
in the collection that you see over and over again. With just the title
and the names changed. The agreed upon issue would then
be printed out on cheap stock in a standard piano
vocal arrangement. Two versus and a chorus, is
what the client usually got. Then the whole thing was delivered
to the client, to distribute or market, if they wished. However, they wanted to do that. The other model, according to the
account of someone who had worked for one of these people as a
copyist during the depression, was that the Vanity
Press sold the client on the dream of fame and fortune. By promising to promote their song to a large commercial
publishing house. You know, hopefully get it
on the Vaudeville circuit and become a hit and
fame and fortune. This is a piece by Raymond Brown. And he was the most prolific
pulper in this business model. We have over 740 of his pieces. And I find his stuff
a little unusual because he would always break
his songs down into components. He would identify the
introduction, the verse, the chorus. And then put the client’s
lyrics pasted directly onto the main script sheet. Notice that it is just the melody. There’s no harmonization. There’s no arrangement. This is also kind of
uncharacteristic for one of Brown’s pieces because
of its length. He’s got a 24-bar verse
and a 16-bar chorus. Some of his pieces in there are
as simple as a four-bar intro, an eight-bar verse and
an eight-bar chorus. Other pulpers that worked in this
business model, delivered something that looked a lot like Brown’s. But they would write the verse
chorus sequence out in something that closely resembles
a modern lead sheet. The finished product
was three copies. The client, of course,
would get one. The Vanity Press would keep one,
supposedly to show to publishers. And the Library of
Congress got the third. And the copyist, I mentioned
before, said in her time with the Vanity Press, she had seen
her boss attempt to sell one piece of music to a publishing house. So, now let’s get to the meat
and potatoes of the collection. And look at some of the
recurring themes and subjects. Why were we at war? Well, there were a whole
lot of contributing factors. But of course, the straw that broke
the camel’s back was Germanies declaration of unrestricted
submarine warfare. The U-boat songs in the collection,
typically do not depict U-boats as menaces or high seas killers. But more like nuisances, which
we’ll quickly dispense of. We’ll sweep them from the seas. And in many of these songs, there is
a demeaning superior attitude shown towards the enemy. And that attitude —
that’s why I put this first, carries over throughout
the collection. President Wilson’s
famous declaration, “The world must be made
safe for democracy.” Actually, got him some
heat in Congress for inserting ideology
into the war resolution. But it resounded with the public. There are songs about democracy,
the defense of democracy. The triumph of democracy
and the doom of the militaristic
German autocracy. And I said this resounded with
the public, as the majority of these kinds of songs all
come from the Vanity Press and the manuscripts deposits. The enemy was often characterized
or embodied in Kaiser Wilhelm. He’s shown as the chief provocateur
and a villain of the war. Old Satan gets the [inaudible], as a very typically cover
treatment of Wilhelm. He’s shown several times with
the devil or with other demons. But he can be chased by goats. He can be tomahawked by a
gigantic American Indian. He can be thrown in a prison van by
a laughing John Bull and Uncle Sam. And those variations go on. The Bleeding Belgium Campaign,
was an appeal of sympathy that brought Britain its first
wave of volunteers in 1914. And though there a few Belgium songs
in the collection, prior to 1917, the amount of songs about German
atrocities in Belgium that appear in 1917, suggests that
when we entered the war, we too took up the
Bleeding Belgium campaign. If there’s one thing the common
person, just about everybody knows about World War One in
America, is that the invocation of the Great Revolutionary War
hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, was a powerful, popular,
emotional appeal at that time. And there are, indeed,
songs reminding the listener that it was now Lafayette’s homeland
that was facing its dark hour. And we had an old debt to repay. When we entered the war,
literally, we did not have a plan. Certainly, we knew that our money
and our Navy would be involved. But as to if we were going to
commit troops and what level of that commitment would
be, was still unknown. And certainly, no one in
Washington here, in April,1917, thought we were going to send troops
to Europe and rescue the allies. However, there’s always a however. The day after war was
declared, George M. Cohan, who was already a popular songwriter and Broadway producer,
wrote, “Over There.” And three weeks later,
when he presented it to the public, it was
an instant hit. And was one of the driving forces of creating the idea
of the Grand Crusade. In 1909, the U.S. became
the world’s largest economy. In 1914, a lending nation. And entering the war, solidified
America’s position as a world power. Cover illustrations of songs about
the alliance, often relay a message of equality with the traditional
powers, France and Britain. Usually you see the
three flags together. The U.S. flag is always
front and center. Sometimes you’ll see
Pershing and his counterparts or even Wilson and his counterparts. This is also the first time we sent
large numbers of troops overseas. And there’s a body of mostly
self-deprecating songs about young American’s
experiences with French culture and French language
and French women. The most enduring of these
songs, actually comes from the post-war period. And the name of that song is? [ Inaudible Answers ] “How Ya Gonna Keep’em Down on The
Farm, After They’ve Seen Paree?” Exactly. But we did
not come empty handed. We brought with us, arguably,
the greatest cultural export of the twentieth century and jazz. And there are, indeed, early
jazz songs in the collection. And for those inclined to want to
go looking for them, I think I need to offer some sort
of kind of a caveat. You know, today, we have
well, clearly defined genres. Back then, not so much. And when you’re working
in a collection and you see the terms
ragtime, blues and jazz, keep in mind that they used those
terms pretty interchangeably. There are also songs about jazz. And these normally
follow a narrative of the young Americans
on their way in Europe. And they’re eagerly anticipating
what the European reception to jazz is going to be. The mantra or motto of the
day, was 100% American. And that came, not from the
CPI, but from a still active and very vocal former
President Theodore Roosevelt, during the run up to the war. Songs of general appeal, have names
like, “We’re All Comrades Now.” “We’re All True Americans.” “We’re All in the Same Boat Now.” And “There’s no Hyphen in My Heart.” There are songs by,
about or directed to, most every ethnic group present
in the country, at the time. But the numbers favor
three groups in particular. For African Americans, this
was a time of flux and change. The Great Migration
from the rural south to the industrial north,
was underway. The NAACP had been founded. And the Modern Civil Rights
Movement, is rooted in as time. African American song writers
were active in Tin Pan Alley. African Americans, of course,
were the driving force in jazz. African Americans now had influence
in mainstream American culture. Irish Americans, then, as now, were one of the two largest ethnic
groups present in the country. And historically, their
participation in the American military
has been critical. But at that time, there
was unrest in Ireland. And a degree of anti-British
sentiment in the Irish American communities
here, that had to be addressed. Italian Americans were
the newcomers. Between 1880 and 1920, about
four million Italians immigrated to the U.S. Most in the
decade before the war. And the songs of serious or
earnest appeal to Italian Americans, differ in that most are
not calls for volunteers. But rather, songs in support
of the European Italian allies. And what of my people? The other of the two
largest ethnic groups? Well, you’ll find a lot of
German names in the collection. They’re all song writers
and publishers. I found two songs,
manuscript deposits, about patriotic German Americans. We must remember that ethnic
comedy was a staple component of the Vaudeville stage. And for every one heartfelt
earnest appeal made to any particular ethnic group,
there are multiple songs directed to that same ethnic group that mock
appearance, accents and customs. Ironically, even the stereotype
stuff is couched in terms to serve unity and the war effort. The Civil War had been
over for a scant 50 years. And the grandsons of the
Confederacy, were expected to fight and die for the Federal Government. Appeals had to be made to the
still disenfranchised south. There are Civil War reunion songs,
“Boys of the Blue and the Gray,” “Sons of the Blue and the Gray.” “Dixie Land” and “Yankee Doodle
Land,” are one in the same today. There are also songs about
or directed to the south. All you really need to
do is get to the site. And in the search box, type in the
word Dixie and see what you get. Unsurprisingly, the bulk
of the collection though, is given to the traditional
wartime topics, patriotism, home and hearth and women. The patriotic stuff is pretty much
what you would expect, my homeland, my nation, my flag, my president. But there are some topics in there
that are historically important or has a — I’ll keep it at that. Uncle Sam, the characterization
or the personification of the U.S. Government, had been around since the early
nineteenth century. But his appearances were sporadic. His physical appearance
could change. His name could be different. It was not until here, in
World War One, that the tall, goateed man in the red, white
and blue suit, became universal. And if this collection has
a star, it’s Uncle Sam. And in titles, cover illustrations, song content, lyrics,
he’s everywhere. The use of the service flag
is a tradition that began in World War One and
continues to this day. When a family member in
the military is deployed, the family is issued a
small flag or banner, bearing a blue star for
that service member. Here you see one in
this window here. Particularly during World War Two,
it was not uncommon to see flags with two, three, four
stars, for however many that household were serving. If the member is killed in action, the blue star is replaced
by a gold star. And there’s songs about service
flags, blue stars, gold stars. And when the blue star
turns to gold. And these songs seem to be evenly
divided between the commercial and the amateur song writers. At that time, the traditional
roles of women still prevailed. We have wives, we have patient,
sympathetic sweethearts. And first and foremost, centrally and most important,
there are mothers. In cover illustrations, it’s not
unusual to find female architypes. You know, often with the long
clarion horn or the sword, rallying the boys,
calling to the boys. Leading to the boys. There’s Columbia, there’s liberty. There are generic noble looking
women in Greek and Roman dress. And of course, as we
were going to France, Joan of Arc makes her appearances. When it comes to women’s war
work, there’s a slight schism between the commercial
and the amateur pieces. The commercial pieces are almost
solely given to two occupations. The nurse, in particular,
the Red Cross nurse, as opposed to the military nurses. And the Salvation Army girls,
who dispense coffee and donuts and cakes, near the front. Again, cover illustrations. Sometimes you can see women in other
war work, carrying hose or spades or maybe driving a truck or
maybe working in a factory. But the songs themselves, don’t go into any great detail
about this work. The amateur songs, also
skew heavily towards nurses and Salvation Army girls. But here you can find songs about particular women’s
wartime occupations. Like, the operation of
the Women’s Land Army, that replaced agricultural
workers gone to war. And the conductorettes that
worked on the railroads. How does the collections
treatment of these themes, compare with the CPI’s agenda? Overall, content of the
commercially published pieces, is consistent with the
national message of the time. Public reception, if we can judge it from the amateur pieces,
was positive. As the vast majority of these
things mime what Tin Pan Alley was producing. That’s not to say that
everything fits into a nice big mainstream package. Outside the larger
better represented themes, there are smaller groups
or individual songs. Which are also reflective of
American society at the time. And an ethnic group, I hadn’t
mentioned earlier, was Eastern and Central Europeans who
came here in the millions, at the same time the Italians came. We can find Polish Freedom Fighter
songs, calling for Polish Americans to go back to the homeland
and free it from the Russians. And the Austrians and the Germans. There are Zionist songs. There are anti-Bolshevist songs. Some of them calling
for intervention in the Russian Revolution. The largest group of a war
related special interest songs, are songs in support of Wilson’s
Internationalists Agenda, i.e. ; the Foundation of
the League of Nations. But you know, you can
also find the other camp. You can find more nationalistic
songs that would appeal to people like the National Security League
and Teddy Roosevelt’s followers. The U.S. did not impose food
rationing, during World War One. But a Federal Agency,
was established that encourage people
to economize on food. And looked into things like
better food distribution. There is, to me, a surprising amount
of songs devoted to this initiative. And to the food administrations
rising political star, Herbert Hoover. There are, of course,
war bond songs. And a curious little group of
amateur songs about Pershing’s, 1916 Mexican exertion or incursion. That’s the one where he failed
to capture or kill Pancho Villa. And these songs all promise
that Black Jack is coming home. And he’s going to take care of
unfinished business down there. And it seems that the — no sooner
was the ink dry on the armistice, that some of the disillusionment
and cynicism that post-war period was
known for, starts creeping into some of the song lyrics. Probably the easiest place
to spot them is songs about Veterans returning home, looking for work, often
unsuccessfully. There’s even one song called, “Why
Shouldn’t They Be Good Enough Now.” Which is about women war workers
resisting pressure to return to domesticity, to make
room for the males. Another post-war hot topic
was the impending ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment,
the Prohibition Amendment. And based on the songs, I don’t know
how that thing ever got ratified. It was not popular. There are some pro-temperance
songs in there, but they are a decided minority. And then we get to my favorites,
which is the occasional piece that displays a personal
view or an opinion or may even relate an experience. Something I noticed, while
working with the collection, was that socially conscious songs,
like the one I just mentioned. And are they equal, in
the eyes of the law? All are self-published. I’ll let y’all draw your
own conclusions about that. There is a manuscript called “What Price Has Pershing
Paid for Dead Man’s Hill?” Which takes issue with
casualties sustained during part of the [inaudible] campaign. There is another manuscript
called “Heaven.” Which was written for
the composer’s sister, who was nurse that
died during the war, that was killed during
the war, actually. And it’s the only mention I found
in the collection that young women who served near the front,
could also be casualties. And then we have, “A Soldiers Wife,” which is basically a
hum and hearth song. Which tells the tale of soldier
who dutifully sends home his pay, only to find that his wife had
spent it all on another man. And this is personal favorite
of mine, as it’s local. It’s by Mrs. Carrie Baker of
Martinsburg, West Virginia. And one can only speculate on what Mrs. Baker’s
inspiration for this song was. So, there you have it. That’s the grand tour,
the big overview. I pointed out some
of the highlights. But again, with almost
14,000 pieces up online, there is just so much to explore. A whole lot to discover
in that collection. The war notwithstanding,
this was an active and exciting time in American music. I mentioned the development
and the rise of jazz. People like Irving
Berlin, Cole Porter, the teenage George Gershwin,
were young, developing. American musical theatre was soon
going to explode, full flower. It’s probably also
the high-water mark of the Vaudeville variety stage, before the talkies
and radio took over. Now, to be honest, I have seen
online, from some other collections, a handful of pieces that we
don’t have in this collection. But that said, this
is still the largest. And with the inclusion of the
Vanity Press and manuscripts, most comprehensive collection of World War One American
sheet music in existence. Again, with the Vanity Press and
manuscript stuff, I’m speculating that 95% of that stuff
has to be unique. Has to be the only
copies left in existence. There just can’t be too many
copies of great grandma’s song, still floating around out there. And finally, sheet music may
not automatically come to mind, when looking for historic
source material. But remember that these songs
were written by the people that were experiencing these things, at the time they were
experiencing them. And getting familiar
with this collection, may help to develop a
better understanding of the collective consciousness
of wartime America. Thank you. [ Applause ] And now we’re — David,
right over there.>>If you have questions,
please wait for the microphone.>>Sorry.>>Going back to your point about
over there and its huge influence on the American attitude. Did Cohan have that
objective in mind? Or was it just dumb luck? Was there a relationship
between the author and — ?>>Paul Fraunfelter: Cohan
was a known flag waver. I mean, from his previous work, you
know, “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.” And he wrote, “She’s a Grand
Old Flag,” prior to this. So, he was patriotic, in his
musicals, from the start. You know, was a perfect
storm sort of situation.>>Hi. Can you tell my why
so many people published through Vanity Press and just
didn’t do the copyright themselves? I mean, I’m looking at the titles. And the titles seem to me, to be
the same as the copyrighted music.>>Paul Fraunfelter: Yeah, yeah. A lot of — a lot of just — a
lot of people just sent it in. But well, for the one thing, the
printed Vanity Press, which is, you know, the biggest chunk of it,
I mean, your song is printed out. It has a publisher’s
name on the bottom. It has a patriotic
cover on the front. Plus, Vanity Presses advertised
and the Library of Congress didn’t.>>Following up, I’m
still a little confused. So, is Vanity Press the only — so, what you’re saying is that
there’s a group of publishers, at the time, who will get a
poetry, set it to music, print it. And then they promise their clients that they will sell it
to other publishers?>>Paul Fraunfelter: No, no.>>I’m really sorry.>>Paul Fraunfelter: Yeah. There were two different
business models.>>Okay.>>Paul Fraunfelter: One would print
it and then deliver it to the client and say, good luck with that. Have fun. The other would
take the client’s money, have their pulper put it to music.>>Right, okay.>>Paul Fraunfelter: And then
they send them a manuscript copy. Now, granted, the copy that we
say there, was in a copyist hand. So, most of that stuff
is very legible. But yeah, the second model, the client just got a
manuscript copy of their music. And the promise of, you know,
you’re going to be famous, once I got somebody to
put it on Vaudeville.>>And there were a lot of
different companies who did that business model,
is what you’re saying. So, the term Vanity Press, really
encompasses a number of companies.>>Paul Fraunfelter: An
inclusive term, yeah.>>Okay, okay. That was my confusion.>>Paul Fraunfelter:
There were a lot of people that practiced in both
business models.>>I see, okay. I apologize.>>Paul Fraunfelter: No problem.>>I wasn’t totally clear on that. Okay.>>Since so much of this industry
was concentrated on one street in Manhattan, how much
does all of this — what was sent to Vaudevillians,
what was actually recorded or what was just shipped
back to the writer? How much reflects what Ted Cruz
would call, New York values?>>Paul Fraunfelter:
New York values. I see — I’ve seen in the
collection, a lot of, you know, old New York Broadway type
of stuff in there, okay? I don’t know what — I’m sorry,
but I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what Ted Cruz says. That’s me. That’s not the Library of Congress. That’s just me. So, I don’t know what he was
implying with that remark. [ Inaudible Question ] I don’t know. You know, I really
wasn’t looking for that. I mean, you do get — you
do get a pretty good mix of what America was at that time. Everybody kind of in here gets a
little exposure, a little chance. And you know, the lower
Eastside Jewish experience. You know, the have the, what’s it
called, the Yiddish Army Blues. You get songs like that. I mean, it’s like, you know, everybody has a little
piece of the pie here. It’s not, you know,
strictly white bread. I mean, you have to figure, too, the published stuff here,
was more to entertain. It was to entertain and inspire. So, the printed stuff was
basically what you see on TV and cable today, their
version of that. So, you know, there is, you
know, a certain view of America. But as far as trying to put
like that type of message in there, I didn’t see it.>>Had a similar amount of sheet
music been generated during the Spanish American War on
public sentiments for that?>>Paul Fraunfelter: I don’t know
how many Spanish American War pieces there are, to be honest. But no, this is the biggest chunk. Civil War, north and south combined,
are less than 5,000 pieces. And that’s the next biggest
chunk of war music we have.>>Did the recorded music
industry also sell sheet music to go along with their hits? Or were those done independently?>>Paul Fraunfelter: That
was done independently. They bought sheet music
from the publishers. And in fact, created libraries. We have a collection
here that we think came from the old Victor Library or the
Edison Library, Edison sheet music. So, yeah, they had —
recording companies and later radio symphony
orchestras and radio orchestras, they had their own music libraries. And that was all sheet music
that they published or scores, orchestrated scores, in parts
they got from the publishers.>>I was wondering, I sensed
that there might be a tension between some of the songs
that were emphasizing unity. You know, “There’s no
Hyphen in My Heart.”>>Paul Fraunfelter: Right.>>And songs on the other
hand that suggested, not necessarily divided loyalties, but maybe multiple
loyalties or investments. As when you talked about the Polish
Freedom Fighters calling for action, back in Poland, against
say, Russia or Austria. And so, I was curious about
that, to what extent do some of the immigrant groups, as well
as groups that by then, of course, are deeply rooted in the United
States, such as African Americans. To what extent do we
see multiple messaging or multiple loyalties
expressed in these songs? So, that people are
actually speaking of fights on different fronts?>>Paul Fraunfelter: I know I’m
the poster boy for Vanity Press and the manuscript deposits. And there is a lot of
bad poetry in there. But that is really the value
that amateur stuff serves. Because yeah, the — as I just
said, the published stuff, the mainstream stuff,
was mainstream. It was, you know, general
consumption stuff. And you do get into
the amateur stuff. And you can see stuff
that is, you know, from someone else’s point of view. Now, again, most people,
like, pretty much ate it up. The CPI was pretty effective
in selling the war to us. Because the — it’s pretty
consistent during the war of, like, you know, this is my experience. But you know, being a
Paul, you know, yeah, I want to go over there and fight. But I want to get, you
know, the damn Russians out. And those Germans want to take
over and I don’t want to let that happen either, you know. But it’s, like, the end of the war, where you start seeing what
we call today dissention. Where, as I said, the
guy goes, like, you know, I don’t think Pershing
should have, like, you know, marched straight into those guns.>>Thanks. A question about the publishers. The published manuscript
sounds like, actually, I mean, I’m speculating, they actually have
the pulse on what the country wants. Because they’re publishing
things that they think will sell. As far as the Vanity
publishing, where would somebody like Carrie Baker in Martinsburg,
learn about a Vanity Press? Where were they advertising? And how were people from all over
the country sending something into New York to get
out their songs?>>Paul Fraunfelter:
They used to advertise in newspapers and periodicals. You know, have your
song set to music. But I think it lost. I think it flew away
[brief laughter]. I’m sorry.>>Do you have any — I
know these are copyrights, so these are everything
that was submitted. Do you have any idea
what actually sold? And what sort of numbers are we
talking about for the sheet music?>>Paul Fraunfelter: No, I don’t. But it’s easy enough to find out. Because we have the trade magazines. Just go over to the performing
arts reading room and look it up. And I have friends that will help
you do that [brief laughter]. Yeah. But a lot of the
recognizable hits are in here. You know, of course, over there,
Irving Berlin’s, you know, “How I Hate to Wake
Up in the Morning.” Which supposedly was
written about his experience as a private in the army. And so, my grandfather’s
favorite song, “K-K-K-Katy.” He used to sing that. He was a World War One vet. So, yeah, there’s quite
a bit of it is popular. And there’s some titles I
recognized when I went through it. But even more, I didn’t. And again, it’s just
like anything else it — what was popular, is
what the public bought. And they did their market research. And the whole — I really over simplified Tin Pan
Alley’s promotion system. I mean, the whole thing
about how many pieces of sheet music you
print at the first pass. And they used to have kind of like,
I forget what they called them, promotional or like fair copies about something they were
thinking about printing. But they would just print
like about 1,000 pages first and you know, distribute them. So, I mean, they were market savvy. Even though it was 100 years
ago, they were market savvy. And you’re right, I mean, they had
figures and they were keeping track of what kind of stuff was selling.>>Is there any anti-war
music at all? Is there a Pete Seegre of
that generation, a Phil Ochs? Or would they not be published? How about in the Vanity
Press, do you see any, we shouldn’t be in
this fight, at all?>>Paul Fraunfelter:
No, just, you know, just some of the neutrality
stuff in there. Just some neutrality stuff in there. Again, at the end of the war, you start seeing people
second think sometimes. But that all comes from the Vanity
Press, from the copyright deposits. I’ve seen nothing in the
commercially published pieces. But then again, like I pointed out, the potentially controversial
songs, were all self-published. So, the, you know, Pete
Seegre got a label here. He never would have back then. But also, you know,
we have what we have, when it comes to the
commercial stuff. Apparently and I don’t know the
provenance of the collection, but apparently, it was
put together sometime after the war, it was assembled. Because there are dates
from like the twenties. There are stamps like
from private collections. I found a Korean war
song mixed up with them. So, the commercial stuff
is, we have what we have. But the copyright deposits,
wouldn’t lie. And I went looking for
that and I didn’t find it. But then again, I was trying to get
14,000 pieces of music up online. So, you know, go ahead,
it’s all up there. Do us a service and find
it, the Pete Seegre of 1917.>>I think we have time for
one more question if there is.>>All right, well, thank you Paul. We really appreciate it.>>Paul Fraunfelter: Yeah. [ Applause ]>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.

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