The Lady In The Moon

Sheet music cover of 'Luna-Foxtrot' by Sydney Ward (Siegwart Ehrlich). Published by Elkan & Schildknecht, Emil Carelius (Stockholm, 1920) and illustrated by Wolfgang Ortmann
Luna-Foxtrot‘ by Sydney Ward (Siegwart Ehrlich). Published by Elkan & Schildknecht, Emil Carelius (Stockholm, 1920) and illustrated by Wolfgang Ortmann.
Dooley-Dooley-Do‘ by Sterling Sherwin, published by Sherman, Clay & Co (San Francisco, 1929). Photomontage by unknown illustrator.
Prismes Lunaires‘ by Hedwige Chrétien, lyrics by L. Fortolis, published by Alphonse Leduc (Paris, 1903) & illustrated by G. Lhuer
Berceuse aux Etoiles‘ by J. Vercolier, Henri Darsay and Fernand Disle, published by the composer (Paris, 1909), illustrated cover signed ‘Grégoire’
Miss Moonbeam‘ by Torsten Paban, published by Elkan & Schildknecht, Emil Carelius (Stockholm, 1921) and illustrated by Eric Rohman
Tu Estrella‘ by I. A. Barsanti, published by Breyer Hermanos (Buenos Aires, s.d.). Cover signed with monogram CM
A Runaway Girl‘ by Warwick Williams, published by Chappell & Co Ltd (London, 1898). Cover illustration by W. George
Une Femme sur la Lune‘ by Willy Schmidt-Gentner and Fritz Rotter (french lyrics: André Mauprey), published by Max Eschig & Cie (Paris, 1930). Cover illustrated by Würth
Silver Stars‘ by Carl Bohm, published by De Luxe Music Co (New York, s.d.). Unknown illustrator
Frau Luna‘, potpourri by Paul Lincke. Published by Apollo Verlag Paul Lincke (Berlin, 1899). Unknown illustrator
Le Voyage dans la Lune‘ by Georges Méliès (1902) — Music by David Short – Billi Brass Quintet

The Listless Lipsi from Leipzich

Tančíme lipsi — Dobrý den, lipsi!‘, two dances composed by Willibald Winkler and Dušan Pálka. Published by Státní nakladatelství krásně literatury, hudby a umění (Prague, 1959). Sheet music cover illustrated by Jaroslav Šerých.

The Lipsi wasn’t just another Fifties dance craze. It was a political statement, not by unruly teenagers but by the 66-year-old leader of post-World War II East Germany, Walter Ulbricht. The promotion of the Lipsi as a youthful dance was a cramped attempt from the communist regime to restrict the influence of Western music. Ulbricht abhorred gangs of youths who glorified rock ’n’ roll and wanted to swing wildly.

Lipsi Sonderheft – Alle Tanzen‘, album published by VEB Lied der Zeit (Berlin, s.d.), illustrated by Dietrich (source: albis-international)

In 1959, just two years before he would build the Berlin wall, Ulbricht declared that in order to counter Western excesses “It is not enough to condemn capitalist decadence in words, to battle against pulp literature and bourgeois habits and to criticise ‘hot music’ and the ‘ecstatic songs’ of a Presley. No, we have to offer a better alternative.”

It was orchestra leader and composer René Dubianski who came up with that politically correct alternative by merging a Latin-American cha-cha-cha with a German waltz. The dance teachers Christa and Helmut Seifert created suitable and easy steps so that everyone could follow them. They named the dance by adapting the Latin name for Leipzig: Lipsia.

Ulbricht hoped that the Lipsi would not only put an end to the supposed western decadence but also would become an international success. That’s why the regime strongly promoted the new dance and —anticipating a huge success— even patented it worldwide. Eine tolle Idee!

In an attempt to appeal to the German youngsters the DDR authorities produced an animated promotion of the Lipsi. In it the American Mister Brown, upon his return from the Leipzig Fair, enthusiastically started to teach young people in the US how to dance the Lipsi.

In reality, however the Lipsi did not catch on among the youth. Also in other Soviet-sphere countries like Estonia and Czechoslovakia it did not achieve its purpose. Possibly only the apparatchiks and the Politburo danced the Lipsi with enthusiasm.

A parallel story of an old, male world leader trying to stop the youthful urge for liberty, happened 45 years earlier, when pope Pius X failed to launch the Furlana as a safe but boring alternative to the tango.

Walter Ulbricht (1893 – 1973) and pope Pius X (1835 – 1914) at their desk (source: Wikimedia Commons)

To illustrate the fierceness of the attacks against Western music in general and Elvis Presley in particular, here is a quote from Junge Welt, the official newspaper of the Central Council of the communist youth organisation: “His ‘singing’ resembled his face: stupid, dull and brutal. The boy was completely unmusical (… ) and roared like a shot deer, just not as melodiously.”

You bet…

Lookalikes & Companions

Cach’ ton piano‘ by Maurice Yvain & Albert Willemetz, published by Editions L. Maillochon (Paris, 1920) and illustrated by Charles-Félix Gir. — ‘I Lift Up My Finger And Say “Tweet Tweet”‘ by Leslie Sardony, published by Publications Francis-Day (Paris, 1929), illustrated by Würth.
El “Kiss-Me” (Bésame)‘ by Juan Auli & M. Golobardas — ‘Bibelot‘ by A. Costa, J. Albelda & Soller. Both sheet music published by Ildefonso Alier (Madrid, s.d.) and covers signed (Pere?) POL.
Luna Tango‘ by Georges Hamel, published by Musiciana (Paris, s.d.) and illustration by M. Briard — ‘Minuit‘, serenade composed by H. Stile, published by Dupont, A. – Metzner (Paris, s.d.), cover illustrated by Armand Segaud.
When you’re tired of calling me sweetheart‘ by Earle Johnston & John Ricca, published by Sherwood Music (New York, 1924) — ‘Trying To Forget‘ by Abe Olman and Jack Yellen, published by Ager, Yellen & Bornstein Inc. (New York, 1923). Both covers illustrated by Malcolm Perret.
Schön ist die Jugend‘ by Max Rhode, published by Philipp Grosch (Würzburg), 1919) and illustrated by Breidenstein — ‘Memento Vivere (Mensch, Durf Te Leven )’ by Dirk Witte, published by Alsbach, G. & Co (Amsterdam, 1917), cover design by Leo Gestel.
Oh How I Miss You To-Night‘ by Benny Davis, Mark Fisher & Joe Burke, published by Irving Berlin, Inc. (New York, 1924). Both sheet music covers illustrated by Sydney Leff.
‘Bonsoir Madame la lune‘ by Paul Marinier and Emile Bessières, published by E. Meuriot (Paris, s.d.) and illustrated by Georges Dola — ‘E viva Carneval‘ by Menica Rondelly , published by M. Millan (Nice,  1905) and illustrated by Gaston de Montpéroux.
Reclame!’ by Dino Rulli and Bruno Cherubini, published by Casa Editrice Musicale (Rome, 1928), cover illustration signed ‘Monni‘ — ‘For you! Reklame operette‘ by Bruno Granichstaedten, published by Edition Bristol (Wien, 1930), unknown illustrator.
I Don’t Want To Get Married‘ by Myrtle Boland, James Alexander Brennan and William Jerome, published by Broadway Music Corporation (New York, 1924) — ‘Ida I Do’ by  Isham Jones and Gus Kahn, published by Irving Berlin, Inc (New York, 1925). Both covers designed by Malcolm Perret.
Breeze (Blow My Baby Back To Me)‘ by James F. Hanley, Ballard Macdonald & Joe Goodwin, published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co (New York, 1919) and illustrated by Natwick — ‘If You’ll Come Back‘ by Otis Spencer and Rubey Cowan, published by Mack Stark & Rubey Cowan (New York, 1920), illustration by Albert Barbelle.
El Dormilón’, tango composed by Manuel Jovès, published by Editions Francis Salabert (Paris, 1926) — ‘Tango Sentimental (Ha de volver a mi) by Manuel Jovès & Jose M. Marcel, published by Editions Francis Salabert (Paris, 1924). Both covers illustrated by Roger De Valerio.

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