Category Archives: Music

The Jazz Singer

The Jazz Singer is a landmark of cinematic history, as the first feature-length film with synchronized dialog.  Directed by Alan Crosland, it’s the story of a Jewish musician (played by Al Jolson) who defies his father’s wishes for him to … Continue reading

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“The Big Rock Candy Mountain”

“The Big Rock Candy Mountain” might not actually be under copyright; it’s complicated. It was recorded and published in 1928 by Harry “Haywire Mac” McClintock, but a prior copyright by another party was filed in 1906. McClintock managed to find … Continue reading

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Frankenstein

One of the reasons that Frankenstein’s monster is one of the best-known horror characters is the classic film adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel directed by James Whale, simply called Frankenstein. Another reason is the fact that the character has been … Continue reading

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Walt Disney’s Peter Pan

The original story of Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, Captain Hook, and Tinker Bell is in the public domain in most of the world, having been published by creator J. M. Barrie in novel form in 1911. Although the basic story … Continue reading

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"Rocket 88"

"Rocket 88" is arguably the first Rock and Roll song. It’s a celebration of the new Oldsmobile 88, one of the archetypal pleasure-craft automobiles of the era, and (almost as obviously) a celebration of sex. It was recorded in March … Continue reading

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“Boléro”

In recognition of today being 10/10/10, an item related to the Blake Edwards movie "10", starring Bo Derek, Dudley Moore, and “Boléro”, a musical composition by Maurice Ravel. The piece owes its existence to copyright.  The project began as an … Continue reading

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“Exactly Like You”

“Exactly Like You” is a song from the Broadway musical Lew Leslie’s International Revue with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and music by Jimmy McHugh. It was a popular hit in 1930 along with “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, … Continue reading

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“In the Mood”

One of Glenn Miller’s most lasting contributions to popular culture is “In the Mood”.  It’s an instrumental jazz tune that most people will recognize, even if they don’t know the name… or even who the legendary trombonist and bandleader was.  … Continue reading

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