I was reading an article about jazz in the Time-Life special edition on the Roaring Twenties  that I recently purchased when I read about a band in Chicago that was tantamount to the rise of that particular music genre.
Of course, that got me thinking about my W-I-P, as all things related to that era do, and my character Charlie Brockway.
You’ve seen Charlie in some previous posts , but he is still a relatively unknown character for me. I know he’s originally from Chicago; that’s there’s some big secret in his life; and that he’s a musician. But this Time-Life article got Charlie talking about his past a bit.
You haven’t seen much of me lately. I apologize for that. But… well, things got a bit crazy here, what with storms and rising water and holidays and new homes.
Still, Rose and Harold are with me every step of the way. In fact, I’ve been listening to 1920s and 1930s music to get a bit closer to them… and to my grandparents who were young newlyweds during this time.
Suffice it to say that I was surprised to hear this 1925 hit about my own hometown, Peoria.
It makes me happy to think of Rose listening (and dancing, even though Harold is pretty awkward and steps on her toes a lot) to this tune. And like the singer, I often wish “I was in Peoria.” Not because of the “goils” but for the people I love who are still there.
Chorus: Oh, how I wish’t I was in Peoria, Peoria tonight.
Oh how I miss the “goils” in Peoria, Peoria, tonight.
Oh you can pick a morning gloria right off the sidewalks of Peoria.
Oh, how I wish’t I was in Peoria, Peoria tonight.
All the lyrics here (plus a bonus rendition–scroll to the bottom of the lyrics–of the song by Bill Edwards)
And yet, that first line expresses Harold’s sentiments perfectly.
In the late twenties and early thirties, there seemed to be two main pastimes: dancing and going to the pictures (and even the picture shows featured dancing). Practically every little town hosted a Friday or Saturday night dance… in the armory, in a barn, at a local church, wherever space allowed.
Imagine how that would be for a fella with two left feet! Especially since Rose loves to dance. Poor Harold. Even the “simple” dances of the era–foxtrot, waltz, castle walk–were challenging. But that didn’t stop him. If dancing was what Rose wanted, well… Continue reading →
As you read this, I am without cell signal and internet, deep in the remotest reaches of the world, otherwise known as East Texas. So, I’ve been thinking a bit about what folk’s in Rose’s time did to unwind after a hard day in Continue reading →
WARNING: The following contains sexual content not suitable for some audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
If music came with the disclaimers we’re used to seeing on our television programs, the 1930 hit by Louis Armstrong, Body and Soul, would have come with the above warning. It was, after all, banned from the radio for almost a year¹ Continue reading →
Valentine’s Day. The day of romance… Great if you’re in a relationship. Often just a painful or awkward reminder for those who aren’t. Charlie¹ sort of feels that pain himself, as you will see… Continue reading →
I recently did a music/movie post, but that was before I noticed that Singin’ in the Rain was a song from Rose’s era. So, in tribute to my favorite movie ever and remembering all three of its stars now deceased—Gene Kelly, Donald O’Conner, and Debbie Reynolds, here is the original version of the song.
While that’s good advice for a January in the northern hemisphere, this post is not a commentary on winter weather. Rather, I’ve been thinking about popular music that Rose might hum while she works, and Button Up Your Overcoat jumped out of the Wikipedia list of tunes made popular in 1929.
This song was first recorded by Ruth Etting in 1928 but was made famous by Helen Kane’s 1929 recording. Don’t recognize the name Helen Kane? Continue reading →
For a while, it looked like Harold and Rose might go to a local dance to celebrate the close of 1929. But, in the end, they decided on a quiet evening at home. (Harold was pleased by this decision, as he really is not the best dancer.) So, they dialed in this radio special—ending, of course, with Auld Lang Syne—to herald in their 1930.
No matter how you’ve decided to celebrate the end of 2016, we (Harold, Rose, and I) wish you the best for 2017. Happy New Year!