Monday, January 5, 2015

January Full Moon - In the Glory of the Moonlight (1915)

Here's a little recording to celebrate the full moon. In the Glory of the Moonlight was released in 1915, a time when World War I was just getting wound up and it'd become clear that the boys weren't going to march in, kick the kaiser's butt, and march home again. The music-buying public had turned to sappy sentimental strolling songs that depicted a simpler time, a time when a fellow could walk along the canal with his best girl in the moonlight.

Percy Wenrich composed ragtime and pop music at the turn of the last century. He was a native of Joplin, MO and came to New York to work the Tin Pan Alley scene in 1907. Unless you're a ragtime or vintage music enthusiast you probably wouldn't recognize many of Wenrich's compositions. The two exceptions might be Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet (1909) and When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose (1914). My personal connection with Wenrich? In 1911 he wrote his hit Red Rose Rag for his wife, Dolly Connolly, the lyrics to which were penned by Edward Madden. Now, I'm sure Ed and I aren't really related, but you never know.

Wenrich and other stars of the ragtime era had a bit of a comeback in the late 30's with the release of The Songwriter's Parade, a review that toured the eastern seaboard on the Loew's and Keith circuits. Eventually, Percy faded from the scene and he died in 1952 at the early age of sixty five.

In the Glory of the Moonlight is a nice slow ditty for a walk in the park. Of course if you'd probably need a parka tonight, but the sentiment is there. Here's the recording from the Library of Congress. The volume leaves something to be desired and the player's nothing to look at, but you get to hear the song none the less.

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