The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Golden Age of Publicity #7


From the original caption:

Hollywood: Sexy Sextet. These six charmers have just won roles as Lana
Turner's handmaidens in the new movie Diane, set in the 16th century.
The girls are playing appropriate instruments of the period, such as the
viola da gamba, cittern, dulcimer, rebec, clarion, viola d'amore and virginal,
but their brand of beauty is strictly 20th century. They are left to right, standing:
Ann Brendon, Fay Morley and Alicia Ibanez. Seated, left to right: Bunny
Cooper, Barbara Darrow and Ann Staunton. (1955)

7 comments :

VicDiesel said...

I think this is my first comment on the Charlie Parker blog, and I hate for it to be negative, because I absolutely love this blog. You have some amazing images here.

But. None of the instruments listed are actually in this shot. For instance, a viola da gamba is sort of cello, and a rebec is a kind of violin.

These instruments are, top to bottom by the crown of their heads: pan pipes, penny whistle?, recorder, something clarinet like? harp, and lute.

A great shot anyway.

Victor.

Tom Sutpen said...

Thanks for the kind words. And while your beef is really with MGM's Publicity Dept. circa 1955 (they wrote the caption; I did not), I have to confess I didn't spot the errors.

My guess is it was deliberate. Some Publicity hacks at Metro figured they'd put one over on the public by naming all the wrong instruments. "The slobs won't know th'difference. Haw haw haw!"

Ah, well. Thanks for pointing it out! I wouldn't have realized it otherwise.

Vanwall said...

I think I detect the influence of the Cooper Studio, and Al Parker in the look of this one. Pretty hokey, too, even for '55.

Tom Sutpen said...

Thank you, Rob, for mentioning the Cooper Studio. You have no idea what a boost you just gave to this here blog.

Stay tuned!

Vanwall said...

The story of my life and relationships - as always, willing to oblige, even if unknowingly.

Stacia said...

Some instruments are in the picture, they're just bad imitations. It's hard to tell but I believe the lady in the very back is holding a poor imitation of a small hammered dulcimer, although it's partly obscured. The "clarinet" thing is probably supposed to be the clarion, and the instrument being strummed is the cittern. The rest of the instruments are strangely absent, though.

Brent McKee said...

I don't think the lady at the very back is holding a hammer dulcimer, I looks more to me like Pan Pipes.