A one minute silence. Is there a worthy substitute for written blogs?
This short post is dedicated to our friend Bram Huijser who passed away last week at the age of 94. He was a follower of these pages and an enthusiastic collector of books. Bram, born and raised in Amsterdam, was gentle and broad-minded. He kept his wonderful library, especially of children’s literature, in his house in Musselkanaal in the province of Groningen, The Netherlands. Wherever you looked: books and books and books!
Bram particularly liked —and fervently told us about— the illustrations of Fré Cohen, a Dutch female designer and member of the Workers’ Youth Association. She became one of the favourite designers of the socialist movement. Her life ended tragically in 1943 when she took a lethal pill escaping imprisonment by the Dutch SS who had tracked her down when in hiding.
Bram revealed us he met his wife during the war while he secretly delivered the resistance newspaper of the Communist Party De Waarheid (literally The Truth). One of the subscribers was her brother, and that’s how he met Mies. They fell in love and got married after the Liberation.
I remember that Bram liked cats, the bandoneon and traditional music. I thought it a bit odd that he so admired the Flemish television crime drama series Witse. Apart from our love for well-done illustration work, we shared a long-time closeness to the music of The Dubliners and the melancholic folk songs of Wannes Van de Velde, a hippy bard who is world famous in Antwerp.
We continue our search for bizarre double items in our collection of sheet music. In a previous post, we showed the creativity of illustrators and/or music publishers to produce additional print runs. We don’t have the answers on the why and when of graphical omissions, additions and changes. Some were intended and crudely created. Others happened brilliantly by accident or were economically inspired. When stumbling on these trouvailles we are puzzled, disconcerted, amused or perplexed. Perhaps you’ll share these emotions with us when comparing the following pairs…
If you’ve never been to the Moulin Rouge to hear Mistinguett sing Susie, here is your chance!
Perhaps you’d prefer to hear and see the American ‘Susie‘? We found this version sung by Eddie Cantor:
We close this post with a wonderful design for the cover of ‘If You Knew Susie’ by Orla Muff (1925). Classy!
Often the back cover of sheet music shows publicity or part of the publisher’s music catalogue. It is seldom blank. But it is much rarer that the back cover (verso) is illustrated to form a whole with the front. Something that today is common on e.g. book wrappers. In our collection of sheet music we found only six of such ‘full covers’. These were probably luxury editions as we can imagine the cost of making such large lithographic plates. We happily share these ‘specials’ with you.