"David Bonner's fascinating look at the nostalgic world of Young People's Records takes the reader far beyond memory lane and into the political and philosophical worlds of those who planned them, wrote them, and performed on them. The complicated history of a host of record labels that sprung from those children's discs, which Mr. Bonner recounts, adds to the tremendous value of his book. Anyone who grew up with these priceless records must read what's on these pages."—Peter Bay, Conductor, Austin Symphony Orchestra

"I grew up with Young People's Records. 'The Funniest Song In The World' featuring Groucho Marx and 'By Rocket To The Moon' with Raymond Scott helped mold the mind of the boy who became Dr. Demento. Here's the whole story of how those and hundreds of other YPR favorites were created by some of the most progressive thinkers and artists of their times, how they became a target for those in the McCarthy era and later those who sought to repress and confine the minds of young Americans, and how their spirit of joy in knowledge perseveres."—Dr Demento, Syndicated Radio Personality


Friday, August 15, 2008

"R3" REVIEW PT.1: The Two Howard Hansons

In Rhythm Riots and Revolution ("R3" for short), David A. Noebel relied heavily on Howard Hanson's musical expertise, cited him with awe on 11 pages, and even deemed him "prophetic" (p.86). Hanson, the noted American composer, conductor, and YPR editorial board member, had written a couple of snobby essays in the 1940s for the American Journal of Psychiatry, in which he condemned the "concentrated doses of rhythm" present in "Hot Jazz" and "violent Boogie-Woogie." However, while declaring Hanson to be a prophet, Noebel simultaneously accused him, in a footnote, of being a Communist (p.37).

How can this paradox be explained? Since the arch anti-Communist Noebel would never knowingly praise a Communist, he must have either not read his own footnote, or else believed that there were two different Howard Hansons.

This is particularly amusing, considering Noebel's advice that "A reading of the strongly recommended, not only for verification purposes, but also for vital additional information" (p.11).

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