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Music In The 1940s

A story by Lois Keating Learned

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Any music/musicians’ strike in the 1940s is a mystery to me. My mother took me to many musical comedy shows during those years, starting with Oklahoma! As the eldest in her family, she had been required to sit in the family’s box at the opera on too many Saturday afternoons and consequently, was not very fond of opera, but she loved musical comedies and I became the beneficiary of this admiration. Mother was also a proficient pianist and enjoyed playing show tunes. My older sister played the piano but I was relegated to the violin as my grandfather had bought a violin in Europe in the 1890s and one of us (children) must learn to play it. As the youngest of six, this chore fell to me. When I could finally play The Blue Danube Waltz, my father unearthed the Vienna violin from its safe home in a secret closet for me to play. Unfortunately, this secret home was a closet on an outside wall and the differences in temperature over the years had caused the instrument to crack. Dad took it into the [New York] City, hoping to have it repaired, but no one there thought it was worth the effort or the cost. You never saw a happier child when he returned empty handed with this news! From then on my instrument of choice was the phonograph.

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 Blue Danube Waltz,family’s box,musical comedies,opera,piano,violin
  Garden City, Long Island, NY
Jun 16 2024

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