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

Annals of Public Performance #11


The Hoboken Four perform simultaneously before a live audience and a radio audience courtesy of NBC, 1935. One of them became famous later on although I can't remember which one. Probably the guitarist, certainly not the skinny kid on the right.

8 comments :

Timmy said...

Sinatra. He strived, as Orpheus did, to be the best translater of song he could muster.

mister muleboy said...

Great shot there of Dustin Hoffman [second from left] eyeballing a young Frank Sinatra . . . .

jim smith said...

The guy with the guitar is, I believe Tony Mottola who achieved some note on his own and stayed friends with Sinatra their whole lives. I also believe that in Sinatra's later career Mottola was a fixture of nightclub/concert act. Jim Smith

Maria Jensen said...

Who would have thought that that skinny kid would become famous, and the chair man of the board?
Great photo!

Maria

erik hogstrom said...

Great photo!

peterrocker said...

If the skinny kid ain't standing on a box, the rest of the group must be real short-asses.

Tommy O'C said...

Mottola first worked with Sinatra on CBS radio in the 1940s, so that's not him in the photo. The Hoboken Four won the Major Bowes Amateur Hour in 1935, the same year Sinatra left the group. BTW, you can hear the audio of their radio appearance on You Tube, the earliest known recording of Frank Sinatra.

swac said...

That Major Bowes, he also gave Donald Duck his first big break (well, Clarence Nash, anyway).