Happy Birthday, Chuck D.
Lancaster’s own Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens were fixtures on the East Coast and Midwest dancehall circuit from 1938 to 1955. When not on tour, they rehearsed in the dancehall above the J.H. Troup Music House at 38 West King. Their 1940 performance of “A Study in Brown” was recorded for the Panoram, a film jukebox common in bars, cafes, and train stations before World War II. I first encountered this clip during an unrelated search on the always-engrossing Internet Archive. A commenter there says it all, I think:
“As you hear you see. I watch this and see what I hear. You view the beautiful ladies gently swaying to the sound, while during the piece the bassist comes out and goes nuts! All for joy. Marimbas and the bass thrombing along from that sound, are one of the most touching tones the human psyche can know. Along with being a man who views these all smiling girls with joy, enticed by it all.
It is a mixed knowing of sound and vision. As with the bassist and the speed of the the music, versus the gentle sways synchronized slower than the changes of speeds of overtones, to the changes in chording of the number of changes to the sounds of the music.It is one of the most uplifting pieces I know here in and on the Internet. Like one person posted, if you feel down sort of spirits, listen and watch this and you’ll feel upbeat. Not beaten up. This original “soundie” cuts to the core all through a persons being, from you inside the space connected all the way to the soul of oneself. It’s what I know in awareness, even negative spirits will “feel” the presence and jive right along with myself dancing to this tune of sound most joyful. All the consciousness and unconsciousness join and rift right along to these vibrations. Truly a most unique thing.”
An orphan of the Civil War, Abe Buzzard was born on Christmas Day, 1852 in Lancaster County and died on Saint Patrick’s Day, 1935, in Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia. He lived 50 of his 86 years in jail, mostly for horse and chicken thievery (but never, it should be noted, for murder). His exploits, and those of his infamous Buzzard Gang, were headline fodder from Lancaster to New York City. He often appeared at tent revivals around the state preaching a sermon he called “Ruin and Redemption” while his brothers disappeared with the town’s poultry. He once escaped Lancaster County Prison with a vial of acid and a pet canary.
More engravings from John Wise’s Through the Air: A Narrative of Forty Years’ Experience as an Aeronaut, Comprising a History of the Various Attempts in the Art of Flying by Artificial Means from the Earliest Period Down to the Present Time. See original post here.