Sunday, November 14, 2010

"What The Country Needs" by Martha Tilton

Ever since November 2008, embattled US President Barack Obama has been inundated with countless suggestions of how to fix the damaged (but far from broken) country he was elected to lead; this then is the humble offering of the Pop Culture Institute, as delivered by wholesome songbird Martha Tilton, who was born on this day in 1915.

True, it was recorded in 1941, when the war which would be the most destructive in history was threatening to engulf the whole world - still, I think the message is as true today as ever. Even if it isn't, who couldn't benefit from an occasional happy lyric delivered by a honeyed voice?

This particular clip is from a series of short films called Soundies, which were one of the earlier precursors to the music video; beginning in 1940 they were either released in theatres or could be viewed for the price of a nickel or a dime in a device called a Panoram at amusement arcades, carnivals, and such. The Soundies eventually lost their novelty when television came along, and the last one was produced in 1947; in the meantime, though, the cream of American music and comedy all contributed their talents, making the Soundies a priceless archive of the era.

The Liltin' Miss Tilton died in December 2006, but thanks to Soundies, YouTube, and fans such as yours truly she may be gone but she will never be forgotten...
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