Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bob Dorough, RIP -- April 24, 2018

I was sad to learn that Bob Dorough has passed on.  Most people remember him for Schoolhouse Rock, but I like his other work, too.

"When it was hip to be hep, I was hep." -- Bob Dorough and Dave Frishberg

He even got to sing with Miles Davis.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Lieut. Paul Baer Newest U.S. 'Ace;' Downed 7 Planes -- April 23, 2018

Washington Times, 26-April-1918
100 years ago today, on 23-April-1918, Paul Baer became the first person to become an ace while flying for the US military.  After the war he continued in aviation.  He died in an accident on 09-December-1930.

Raoul Lufbery was born in France, but his father was American. He had 16 confirmed victories while flying for the French and one more for the Americans. He died in battle on 19-May-1918.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Richtofen, Foe's Best Flier, Killed; Rival Pays Him Tribute -- April 21, 2018

New York Tribune, 24-April-1918
100 years ago today, on 21-April-1918, Manfred von Richtofen, called the Red Baron, regarded by most as the greatest pursuit pilot in the war, was killed.  There is controversy about how he died.  He was credited with 80 victories.  Flying his triplane near the Somme River, Richtofen was chasing a junior Australian pilot who had shot at Richtofen's cousin Wolfram. Canadian Captain Roy Brown dove into their midst to protect the junior pilot.  Australian anti-aircraft gunners also shot at Richtofen.  A bullet passed through his heart and lungs and killed him.  It probably came from the ground, but the RAF credited Brown with the victory.  Richtofen remained alive long enough to land his triplane.  The British buried him with military honors.  

Oswald Boelcke created many of the tactics used by German fighter pilots.  Max immelmann was a brilliant flier.  

Richthofen, Foe's Best Flier, Killed; Rival Pays Him Tribute
(Copyright by International Film Service.)

By One Who Fought Him
(Tribune Cable Service)

LONDON, April 22. -- Captain Baron von Richtofen, who was killed on the Somme battlefield yesterday, was the finest airman the world had ever seen. I fought several battles with him and I have reason to know that he was not only a good fighter but that he was the best sportsman on the German side. He had the reputation of never killing an enemy when he had him cold.

From a military point of view, I am glad he is gone, but he was a good sportsman. After driving his opponent down, he often landed beside him, helped him from his machine, and saw that he was comfortably treated.

Richtofen'a shooting was not as good as might have been expected from a man of his reputation at least I thought his shooting was not very good but what he lacked in shooting, he made up in judgment. His judgment was amazing. He seemed to divine the enemy's next move.

Richthofen was such a big man that his death is bound to make an enormous difference in the German air service. He was far above the other German airmen, whom he inspired and held together. They are bound to hold back a bit now that he is gone.

To my mind, by killing Richthofen, it is not too much to say that we have blotted out the greatest obstacle to Allied supremacy in the air. It has been said that he was credited with all the victories of his circus, but I think he personally accounted for the total number of opponents to his credit.

Richthofen Buried by British With High Military Honors
Germany's Greatest Aviator, Shot Down Behind the Somme,
Was Credited With 80 Aerial Victories

OTTAWA, April 22. -- The funeral of Baron von Richthofen, the famous German aviator, who was brought down last night by the British, was held this afternoon, according to a cable dispatch received here to-night from Reuter's correspondent at the British headquarters in France.

"The funeral was a most impressive spectacle," says the dispatch. "The airman was buried in a cemetery not far from the spot where he was brought down. Members of the air service attended."

(By The Associated Press)
WITH THE BRITISH ARMY IN   FRANCE, April 22. -- Baron Manfried (sic - JT) von Richthofen, the famous German aviator, was shot down and killed last night back of the British lines along the Somme front. Details of the death of the airman are lacking, but, as showing the temper of British officers, it may be said the correspondent heard the ardent hope expressed that Richthofen died fighting in an air battle with a worthy opponent rather than by being shot down by anti-aircraft guns.

LONDON, April 22.-- An official statement reporting aerial operations issued yesterday at Berlin said: "Baron Richthofen, at the head of his trusty chasing squadron (on Saturday) gained his seventy-ninth and eightieth victories."

Eighty Victories for Baron

Baron von Richthofen was credited with eighty aerial Victories, compared with forty for Boelke, the next most famous German flier, who was shot down in October, 1916. Immelmann, the third renowned enemy airman, is also dead.

The Germans have a system of calculating their fliers' records, which seems to give them about twice the number of victories they would have under the French system. For instance, Berlin credits an airman with a victory whenever an antagonist is driven down. The French rule is to count only cases where the adversary is brought down within, or in immediate proximity to the French line and where the enemy aviator is either killed or captured. There must be at least three witnesses for each French victory.

The most famous French flier, Guynemer, had destroyed fifty machines before he was killed last September. He was generally considered the most brilliant airman of the war. In a single day Guynemer shot down four machines, two of them in a single engagement and within one minute of each other.

Great Britain has produced some splendid aviators, especially Major Bishop, a Canadian, but their records are not made public.

Led the "Flying Circus"

Captain von Richthofen first attracted attention as the leader of his "Flying Circus," a squadron of gaudily painted German machines which flew in a circle when fighting, so that, when one was engaged, the next flier could sweep the antagonist from the rear.

In October last Baron von Richtofen married Fraulein von Minkwitz, daughter of the very wealthy Master of the Horse of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg. On that occasion the Kaiser appointed him his "equerry airman," and it was stated that he would henceforth devote his time entirely to the training of new fighting squadrons. Apparently, however, the lure of the front was too great, and this spring the baron won a brilliant string of aerial duels before he finally met the fate of practically all the airmen who have become celebrated in the war.

As a reward for his work in the early days of this year's offensive, the Kaiser conferred on the baron the Order of the Red Eagle, with crown and swords.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Favorite Albums -- April 19, 2018

Last month on Facebook, I was nominated by a friend to list my ten all-time favorite albums. "What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list. Post the cover, no need to explain." I enjoyed the exercise, although it was tough to narrow it down to ten and not make any explanations. I thought I would use my blog to share the albums and perhaps make some comments.

My first choice, because the file name was first in the directory, was Elvis Costello's third album, Armed Forces.  This was the first Elvis Costello album that I purchased.  I love the music on the LP and the EP.  Once I saved up enough money, I went back to Tower Records and bought his first two albums.

Some don't like modal jazz; they think the musicians are just playing scales.  Miles Davis and his sextette are not just playing scales on Kind of Blue.

Last year my daughter and I were sitting in the car waiting for my wife.  I put this CD in the player.  My daughter was quiet until she heard "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?"  She said "That is warped."  Yes it is.

I had trouble deciding which Duke Ellington album to select, but "Ellington at Newport" has the 27 chorus saxophone solo by Juan Gonsalves on "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue."

I bought my fiancée all of Ella Fitzgerald's songbooks, but the Gershwin was our favorite.   We used two songs from it for our wedding reception.

I read in Newsweek that Glenn Gould had recorded a new version of The Goldberg Variations.  I saved enough money, which took a while because classical albums cost more than pop or rock'n'roll albums.

I found Janis Blesh's They All Played Ragtime at the Anza Branch Library and enjoyed it, but I hadn't heard most of the music.  The Anza and Richmond branches did not have any ragtime records, but I found Joshua Rifkin's album at the Main Library.  I later bought my own copy.

I don't own this actual album, but this image allowed me to represent Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five and Hot Seven with one entry.  I love all the recordings.  "West End Blues," "Weather Bird," "Potato Head Blues," all of them.

I didn't know about Louis Jordan until someone played "Saturday Night Fish Fry" on KJAZ.  I went looking for him at Tower Records.

What can I say about Sun Ra?  Space IS the place.  Some don't believe he visited Saturn in 1936 or 1937.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sells Brotherrs' Circus -- April 17, 2018

Daily Alta California, 25-September-1886
The Sells Brothers Circus appeared at San Francisco's Central Park, near 8th and Market Streets. The Sells Brothers Circus was based in Columbus. Ohio.  I like the part about Mrs Sells taking care of the kindergarten kids.