[Dixielandjazz] Under the Bamboo Tree: jazz and American literature.

pj.ladd pj.ladd at btinternet.com
Wed Oct 14 02:30:30 PDT 2009

Fibre needles - not unlike bamboo? - were in use in England at least until
well after WW2. The theory was that they didn't wear the grooves of
precious  78s. >>

those who are Flanders and Swann afficianados will remember their `Song of 
Reproduction` about hi-fi, which contains the line ` then we used fibre 
needles to make it soft again`
Off the top of my head the patter went something like
`Where did you get this anyway?  You bought it in a shop?? Well you`ve got 
your Red headed tweeter crossed over with  your ?????  if you got that 
modding more than eight you`ll get wow on your top and flutter on your 

 There is a small, elite group of fanatics who meet once a year to celebrate 
F and S and as it happens we meet in two weeks time. We foregather in a pub 
(of course) in London and then go to Donald Swanns house where we are 
entertained, in his music room, and on his piano  by a couple of 
professional musicians who are executors of the F and S estate and 
consequently have access to all sorts of unpublished and unrecorded or 
unissued material. We view long forgotten interviews and clips of film of F 
and S. There is a dinner in the evening. I have not made that yet as my long 
suffering wife Wendy reckons that she has had enough F and S throughout the 
afternoon  and won `t stand for an evening of it as well. The quid pro quo 
is that  we go to the theatre in the evening.
Makes for an expensive weekend as the train journey to London although quick 
cost a lot even with our pensioners price reduction. Tickets for London 
theatres are an incredible price, particularly as we can often see the shows 
locally for a third of the price when they tour.

Sad news is that the singer Ian Wallace died yesterday. He sang a lot of 
Flanders and Swann material and recorded `The Bestiary of Fl;anders and 
Swann` which included `I`m a Gnu, the Hippopotamus song etc..

Just in passing

Not jazz but absolutely fascinating and I just knew you would want to know 
all that.


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