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Von Cello 

Post No. 1203
08/16/2007 11:16 AM
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Statistics, facts, and hoo ha

I don't know the demograhpics exactly. I'm sure the majority was from a British Isle background, but there were a lot of Germans and Italians.

As a member of the tiny Jewish tribe, I am always amazed at how much influence we had in America. Of course, the founding fathers were very taken by the Bible, thinking of America as the New Jersalem. Just look at how many towns are named Salem, Caanan, Bethel, etc. One of the great bits of influence was the blue jean, invented and marketed by Levi. Even today many of the people who dress America are Jews, ex. Ralph Lauren (Lipshitiz), Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi, Jordache Jeans, etc.

But on to music...the place where there is the most Jewish influence in popular music is in salsa. Yes, that's right. The melodies that you hear in salsa resemble Jewish prayers. Why? Because when the Spanish first came to the Americas (beating out the Brits by about a century) they brought with them their melodies, and at that time, there was a large Jewish presence in Spain.

In North America, Jews were prominent in classical and jazz: Aaron Copeland, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Benny Goodman, etc. They were also very important on the promoter side, producing and recording the great jazz artists. In rock there were plenty of Jews, though most were not open about it, Mickey Hart (of the Dead), Gene Simmons (the Israeli founder of KISS), David Lee Roth (Van Halen), and others. And there is even this guy who is breaking down the barriers between rock and least in the cello world! And with his "Celltic Jig", he is breaking down the Celtic-Jewish barrier. As one Irish friend of Karen said, with her perfect Irish brogue (sp?), "How can Aaron write Irish music? He is not Irish!"

Post No. 1202
08/16/2007 08:55 AM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
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My Blue Didgeridoo rock and a hard place

The only semi-famous didj players I know of are Dr. Didj, David Corter, and Rolf "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" Harris". Corter appears with slide guitarist Byron Estep on a fun little album entitled "Aborigininal Bluegrass". You can find it, like most of the music I reccomend, on

I know alot about Celtic music, but I'll admit I do not know exactly how Celtic morphed into bluegrass, jazz, rockabilly, rock and country etc....The onyl thing I could put on the table here is that a great majority of the of the people living in the United States for most of the twentieth century had ancestors who hailed from the british Isles, and Africa if they happeneed to be African-American. With their heritage firmly encased in their collective memories, it is to my mind only natural that the music makers of the late Ninteenth and Twentieth century would know enough traditional songs to make what was old sound new.

Now here are the lyrics to that Rolf Harris song:

Tie me kangagroo down, sport, tie me kangaroo down.
Tie me kangaroo down, sport, and tie me kangaroo down.
Play your didgeridoo, play your didgeridoo.
Play your didgeridoo, and tie me kangaroo down.

hmmm....I seem to have developed a sudden craving for shrimp.
Von Cello 

Post No. 1201
08/15/2007 08:49 PM
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Rock didgeridoo

It would be interesting to read a scholarly treatment of the history of Celtic music and exactly how it migrated to the United States and formed the basis of much American popular music. I suppose it formed the basis of country and bluegrass. It seems that the blues formed the basis of what led to rock n' roll. Jazz also was a combination of the blues and African improvisiational ideas with European instruments and classical harmony. But as rock progressed, and certainly when you get into jam rock, you find more country influence, and hence more Celtic influence.

I'd like to know things like...who were the people who actually brought over Celtic music, who did they meet over here who took there ideas and incorporated them into pop. How did it start? Is there a piece or a group of pieces where it all began? Was "My Blue Heaven" an example of Afro-Celtic fusion? And who was the very first person to ever play it in a rock style on didgeridoo?????

Post No. 1200
08/15/2007 12:54 PM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
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wires and sparkplugs

Von Cello wrote:

"We hear about how the Italians invented musical notation, and how the Germans produced Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms, and how Jazz was a mixture of classical music and African rhythms, etc. But Celtic music is just not discussed much in the music academies. So, any information on this would be most interesting".

Hey there VC...yep, I did talk about Celtic music tradition as a forefather, if you will, to most of today's popular music. I admit that I did not give th eItalians and the germans their dues in my disscussion, and I humbly apologize to both the Italians and the Germans.

I guess I'll exapand this conversation by asking "Where the youth went" in terms of folk music....not just Celtic or bluegrass music, but in terms of simple, bare-bones, tribal, down to earth acoustic music made on comepletely acoustic instruments? I tell you, I walk in most musical instrument stores today and they're full of all these effects pedals for guitars and bases, all of these fancy microphones and amps, synthesizers and turn-tables, electric drum sets with features I could only imagine ina modern music getting to advanced? How can one pay for all of these things? (This may be a good idea for another essay on your "Visitors" page).
I only wish more people would know about jaw harps, which I have found to like "acoustic pocket synthesizers", You can manipulate the sound of breath moving over the harp's trigger through numerous shapes and movements of your tongue and mouth to result in varying, electronic-sounding atmospherics. Now how about another marvel of percussive, acoustic technology: the xylophone! Now there's some technology for you: the techonology and physics of sound different materials make when you strike them with mallets of varying weight and thickness. I would argue other examples of so-called "acoustic synthsizers" are didgeridoos (Where the technique of circular breathing sustains a low drone over the player's accents), the overtone (or willow) flute, played without fingerholes in Sweden and Norway, and the act of throat singing (popular in Tibet and Mongolia, where you use your throat to sing one note with different harmony notes on top of it. This is interesting stuff, folks, and I think there should really be a peice of music out there featuring just jaw harp and xylophone, with maybe a didgeridoo drone under them. (Perhaps I will be the one to make that happen)! So in conclusion, I say embrace your primitive yearnings, people, get back to your roots and endorse the use of acoustic intruments over electronic ones! (Now, the problem is how to amplfiy the darn things so large crowds of people can here you play them....I admit there is an obvious flaw in my reasoning here).

On another "note", I look forward to hearing the subtlties of Mr. Minsky's acoustic cello when he (along with keys man Scott Guberman) graces my show for the second time!
Von Cello 

Post No. 1199
08/15/2007 12:17 AM
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Steven genius

Steve it was great to talk to you tonight. Thanks for all of your marketing tips. Don't forget to give me the website of your brother the clown. And feel free to post here any information about your English company and your amazing, unique path that you are blazing in cyberspace!

I may be in Manhattan this week to go shopping. Did I say that? I generally avoid that activity, but since I haven't bought almost anything for several years, I guess its time. So, if I go I'll shoot you an email.

This weekend I'll be playing in Connecticut on a private Island. Don't ask! I don't know who the client is. And I'll be in Brooklyn playing in a quartet with Russians. Meanwhile, tonight I was recording the last of my new "Ten International Cello Encores", which incoporates music from over a half a dozen countries.

Post No. 1198
08/14/2007 08:29 PM
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cant make the pardy in your pad
ill b n spain
anyway will continue reading the thread
Von Cello 

Post No. 1197
08/12/2007 11:39 PM
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Missing Person's Bureau

Steve, are you reading the guestbook regularly? If so, we can plan our meeting here. Or, if you prefer, I can give you a call.

Tonight I played for an Orthodox Jewish wedding in Cedarhurst. The quartet, aside from me, was made up of a Catholic, a Russian, and a Japanese. Boy, us New Yorkers really have to learn to work in a very multi cultural environment.

I was interested in something Edward said about Celtic music being at the root of much Western music. We don't usually hear much about that. We hear about how the Italians invented musical notation, and how the Germans produced Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms, and how Jazz was a mixture of classical music and African rhythms, etc. But Celtic music is just not discussed much in the music academies. So, any information on this would be most interesting.

Post No. 1196
08/12/2007 05:09 PM
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you mean u saw them on tape?
Von Cello 

Post No. 1195
08/12/2007 11:35 AM
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The Mamas and Papas

They had a special today on PBS about the Mamas and Papas. They were always a surprise group. In other words, when you first heard them or saw them, you didn't really want to like them. The whole idea of two "mamas" and two "papas" was kind of weird. And then you had this fat one, this cute one, this tall one with a hat, and this other guy...

Yet, you like it when their music came on the radio, and when they were on TV you couldn't walk away.

Well, today I just had the same experience all these years later. I just sat and watched them for a half an hour. And now I'm writing about them. What is this strange power that this group of misfits has on me?

Help!!! I'm flipping out!!!!
Von Cello 

Post No. 1194
08/11/2007 12:52 AM
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Voo bah ha, demensia!

That is how someone started his conversation on a call to the Dr. Demento show years ago. I was a big fan back in college. Some of my favorite hits were "Star Dreck", a take off on Star Trek, "Can You Dig It" and "Their Comming To Take Me Away", and "Nothing But a Pencil Neck Geek" and "Revenge of the Pencil Neck Geek".

On most of my CDs there is at least one tune that could have been on that show. On "Breaking The Sound Barriers" it would be "Cello Players' Rap". On "Von Cello Rules" it would be "Go To Hell". On "Celtar" it will be "You Had To Honk", complete with the sound of honking horns and traffic!

Post No. 1193
08/10/2007 11:42 AM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
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Just for yucks! (Neal should like this one)

If you guys get a chance to listen to my friend the Hurricane, you won't be dissapointed. He plays a mix of movie soundtracks and comedy peices... that's parodies, sketches and original comedy music; Weird Al is Krunch time favorite. As an added bonus, you can sometimes hear me co-hosting with him! This summer he is on Friday Mornings 10-noon on-line at

If you'd like to look more into the comedy "genre", the link below shouls be helpful to get a sence of the "new" guys out there:

This has been a Seamus plug

Post No. 1192
08/10/2007 10:18 AM
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Mixed Nuts

Von Cello wrote:

"Now we just hear more of the same churned out on the radio. A rap about sex, a rap about violence, a rap about rap. It's all good in its way, but maybe it is time to let the building colapse and let the floors and celings break apart. Americans have all become audio prisoners to the corporate masters...except us of course".

I'm with you, VC. I would add that kids today aren't really that enthused with folk music, either, even though rock came from folk and bluegrass and coutnry music and jazz, all of which came from the British Isles (The Celtic countires of Ireland, Scotland, England and the like), and partly from the slaves who came over here against their will from the African countries. Like it or not, nearly all Western music today can be traced back to traditional Celtic folk music, and traditional, tribal African music. So when I play "World music" on my show, I am really playing "Music from whence Western Music came...I'm goin' back to our roots, especially with Celtic music. If you listen to bluegrass and acoustic country, you can hear the Celtic influence in the fiddles and mandolins, and the African influence from the banjos (there are several banjo-like stringed instruments played all over the continent). I'm not sure where the dobros and slide guitars come from, but they're just darn cool. Modern "Bluegrass-jam", or "jamgrass" groups sometimes incoorporate African percussion, along with rock guitar and bass (rock of course comming from The British Isles and Africa) into the trad. string band....need I say more?
Rap and hip-hop come from African tribal music, and I think rappers and record company execs have forgotten that. But my mix of polka/Indian/bluegrass/Celtic music...that's all in my head. I might try to bring it out if I ever bother to learn a melody instrument: right now it's a toss up between the flute (concert or bamboo), xylophone/marimba, trumpet, concertina, or dulcimer/strumstick. I just don't know which one I'd enjoy playing the most! I'm, so confused. Shall I be a drum-guy for life?
Von Cello 

Post No. 1191
08/10/2007 08:48 AM
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I have started to think that it may be time for American music to grow up. Since the 50's its been all about teenage rebellion and angst. But back in the 30's and 40's there was a lot of good music going on. There were classic pop tunes by folks like Gershwin and Porter and lyrics that were about the magic of love. There were great jazz singers like Ella and Billie. And great jazz instrumentalists like the Hawk, the Bird, the Duke, and the Trane. Yet for people who grew up after 1950 became detached from what came before. For kids today, music began sometime in the early 60's.

Maybe now that rock led to 30 years of rap, it is time to end this phoney division of genres. Why shouldh't kids today know "My Blue Heaven", "Stardust", "Younger Than Springtime", "Autumn in New York", "Embracable You", "Scrapple from the Apple", "String of Pearls", "It Was a Very Good Year", etc.? We got all hung up on the blues, and other people with country. Then the Brits virtually took over the music industry with the Beatles, Stones, Animals, Hermits, Cream, Floyd, Cocker, about an invasion! Gone in the mix was "The Great American Songbook". And now we just hear more of the same churned out on the radio. A rap about sex, a rap about violence, a rap about rap. It's all good in its way, but maybe it is time to let the building colapse and let the floors and celings break apart. Americans have all become audio prisoners to the corporate masters...except us of course.

Post No. 1190
08/09/2007 08:40 PM
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Good evening, VC! found this while surfin' the net and i thought of you. Hope you like it!

I'd like to see "Whispering" Jack, or Stuff Smith try their hands at this mighty genre!
Von Cello 

Post No. 1189
08/09/2007 07:59 PM
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My Piano Heaven

I jammed at a bar not too long ago in Yorktown Heights. The owner was giving away CDs that he wanted to get rid of. I think I mentioned that I took about 30 or them. Many are of pianists. This is really interesting to me because I never bought a piano CD. I guess if it was classical and didn't have strings, or at least winds, I wasn't all that interested. But this is really opening up my eyes,,,rather ears.

Funny you mentioned Art Tatum. I have two of his CDs now, as well as Fats Waller, Bill Evans, Earl "Fatha" Hines, and more. On the classical side I have CDs of the piano music of Debussy, Ravel, Schubert, Mendelsohnn, and the three CDs of the Brahms!

The Brahms is what is totally blowing my mind! It is like a hidden closet in the classical world that I never opened. His piano music can be as powerful as his symphonies. I highty recommend to anyone out there to check him out, especially the late music. And give it several listens before you judge it. Even I had to listen about a dozen times before it started to open its magical doors!

Post No. 1188
08/09/2007 12:13 PM
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My Blue Records....

It is fortunate to see some familiar, more contemporary names on that Wikipedia list: The Smashing Pumpkins (which is a big surprise), Gene Krupa (Benny Goodman's swing drummer, who was inspired by Japanese Taiko drumming), and Art Tatum (I belive he was a jazz uncle used to have a framed record album by Tatum hanging up in his old house in essex. My uncle (this is on ym dad's saide, my Dad's bro, was also a huge Zappa fan).

Post No. 1187
08/09/2007 12:03 PM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
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And how about "Stuff Smith" or "Scatman Crothers", huh? Kids today must be lining up down the block to "bust-a move" to those guys. As my fellow WWPV DJ "The Hurricane" (of "Krunch Time" Fridays 10am-12 Noon) says: "Rock and/or Roll!!!
Von Cello 

Post No. 1186
08/09/2007 10:52 AM
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"Whispering" Jack Smith

Hey, screw Hendrix, nix Clapton, ixnay on the Ingwie, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain...toss 'em all! The man...and I mean the MAN, is "Whispering" Jack Smith! Nobody, but NOBODY, sings My Blue Heaven like the wisper man!

Post No. 1185
08/09/2007 09:03 AM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
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A bit before my time......

Aaron, you must understand that if you ask a twenty-something born in 1981 if he's heard a pop standard recorded by the likes of The Four Lads, Enoch Light, Bert Kaempfert, and "Whispering" Jack Smith, you're gonna get some blank stares and a gaping mouth. And now, this....

Ahhh yes, it's the "My Blue Heaven" Collection from Time Life, a division of Warner Bros. incooporated. That's right: your FAVORITE song that you've never heard before, sung by groups you only WISH you knew, but maybe will want to FORGET once you hear them! It's a year's worth of music on 12 priced-to-own, shiny, sparkily compact discs. There's no need to join, becuase YOU'RE ALLREADY a time life member whether you like it or not! We're gonna send you CD's till they fill up your WHOLE HOUSE, till you eat CD's for breakfast in lieu of PANCAKES, till you throw the freakin' things to your dogs like FRISBEES, your gonna wallow in Time Life CD's for the rest of your PATHETIC, PUNY, little LIFE! There's no ESCAPE! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! carried away there. (To be honest, the same thing almost happened with me when I was younger with that Columbia House music club).

But I'm sure "My Blue Heaven" is a good tune, and perhaps I'll be able to find it and listen to it somewhere on line.

But if we're talking about standards, I would hope you are familiar with Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World", and Frank Sinatra's "A Very Good Year".
Von Cello 

Post No. 1184
08/08/2007 10:57 PM
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My Blue Heaven


You don't know "My Blue Heaven"????

From Wikipedia:

"My Blue Heaven" is a popular song.

The music was written by Walter Donaldson, the lyrics by George Whiting. The song was published in 1927 and became a huge hit for crooner Gene Austin, selling over twelve million copies.

The song has since become a standard. Hit versions were also recorded by Jimmie Lunceford in 1935 and by Fats Domino in 1957, the latter reaching #17 on the Billboard magazine charts.

Recorded versions

* Ray Anthony
* Gene Austin
* Boston Pops Orchestra
* Les Brown
* Don Byas
* Freddy Cannon
* Benny Carter
* Casa Loma Orchestra
* Rosemary Clooney
* Nat King Cole
* Ken Colyer
* Harry Connick Jr.
* Bing Crosby
* Scatman Crothers
* Billy Daniels
* Doris Day
* Buddy De Franco
* Vaughn De Leath
* Marlene Dietrich
* Fats Domino
* Walter Donaldson
* Eddy Duchin
* Duane Eddy
* Fabian
* Gracie Fields
* Eddie Fisher
* The Four Lads
* Jane Froman
* Erroll Garner
* Georgia Gibbs
* Benny Goodman
* Stephane Grappelli
* Coleman Hawkins
* Dick Haymes
* Ted Heath
* Woody Herman
* Earl Hines
* Lena Horne
* Frank Ifield
* Al Jolson
* Bert Kaempfert
* Gene Krupa
* Gertrude Lawrence
* Jerry Lee Lewis
* Enoch Light
* Jimmie Lunceford
* Harpo Marx
* Glenn Miller
* Rose Murphy
* Rick Nelson
* Sandy Nelson
* Red Norvo
* Oscar Peterson
* John Pizzarelli
* The Platters
* Leon Redbone
* Django Reinhardt
* Cliff Richard & the Shadows
* Marty Robbins
* Artie Shaw
* Frank Sinatra
* The Smashing Pumpkins
* Stuff Smith
* "Whispering" Jack Smith
* Maxine Sullivan
* Ralph Sutton
* Art Tatum
* Nino Tempo
* Bobby Vinton
* Paul Weston
* Paul Whiteman
* Slim Whitman
* Mary Lou Williams
* Teddy Wilson
* Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Post No. 1183
08/08/2007 11:24 AM
Email eaburke81  
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Daddy's gonna buy you a mocking bird.....

Von Cello wrote:
"Just Molly and me. Little baby makes three. We're up here in my blue heaven".

Don't thnk I've ever heard it from a Mother Goose nursery rhyme?
It's quite a coincedence you quoted this verse when you did, becuase one of our staff members just brought in her baby daughter...and she's VERY verbal.

but anyway, all those people out there who miss-use the internet must be pretty they have nothing else to do with their time? Though, who am I to judge? I do not know those individauls, nor am I talkign to them face to face...I have no way of knowing their intentions.
Von Cello, on the other hand, his intention is to use his "stick" to deliver his "Schtik"!

Von Cello 

Post No. 1182
08/08/2007 11:06 AM
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My Blue Heaven

Do you know that song?

"Just Molly and me. Little baby makes three. We're up here in my blue heaven".

I think a lot of people know about this site. I also think a lot of people view this guestbook. Before you had to sign in we got pretty frequently visitors who would post once or twice and disappear into cyberspace. Some would stay around for a few months. More people were regulars. But we also got invaded by spammers. If you look in the archives you can see, like the rings around a tree, a real time picture of how the spammers started little by little. We insulted them, discussed them, avoided them...but it got so bad I had to change the format to this one, where you have to register. This has surprisingly, not only chased away the spammers, but also almost everyone else. So now there are only about a half a dozen people registered who CAN post.

This is a study in communications, or human nature. The ass holes have made open questbooks impossible, so now people have to register, and that takes away a lot of the spontanaiity (sp?),

Post No. 1181
08/08/2007 09:43 AM
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That should be My apologies to the band.

Post No. 1180
08/08/2007 09:42 AM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
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A quiet guestbook (insert a cricket noise here...)

I'm with you, Aaron. There have been some interesting posts as of late, and I want to share them with others. I can let my listeners know Von Cello has a rockin' guestbook, but have you ever thought about putting your web address on some Von Cello-type merchandice? Here we go again with the t-shirt idea could have your trademark with in a groovy-type font under it, maybe throw in a few Dead-head-inspired tye-dye swirls and psychadelic cellos as well. Not that I know anything about art, advertising or business, but all most EVERYBODY uses the internet these days. If they dont know where to go, then they might not find your little slice of cyber heaven. Seriously, this has got to be the cleanest, most relaxed website I've ever visited on a regular basis. I used to post messages on a guestbook for a california-based indie rock band called VIV. They came to St. Mike's a few years ago and I really enjoy their music. But after awhile, spammers hit the guestbook like the British bombers at Dresden in WWII. It got so bad, that people were using my username to write lewd and nasty posts posing as me. Needless to say I no longer visit, but I love their music. Their two albums are up on CDBaby if you want to listen to them.
The Von Cello guestbook, as I said before, is a little slice of cyber heaven! Your other fans are foolish not to post here.
Von Cello 

Post No. 1179
08/07/2007 04:49 PM
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We haven't talked much about classical music, but today I went to a cello masterclass at Marymount College, given by Matt Haimovitz. Four students played works by Lalo, Kodaly, Schumann, and Bach. Matt gave them perfect pointers and understood the sublteties of each style. I was very impressed. The times he played were just beautiful.

And here's the best news, I spoke to him about performing "Dead Cello" and he was interested. He even pointed out that he was on Jerry Garcia's last recording. So, Dead Cello may live after all!

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