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 #16

The Mills Brothers perform, 1949.


justjack said...

Gadzooks, look at those fat dewds swing. Mills Brothers, baby! Paper Doll, pallie!

Ah, the genetically-enhanced tightness of sibling harmonies.

mndean said...

Too cool, saw them in a film just last night. The director lingered on their numbers a long time, too, as if he enjoyed their harmonizing as much as I did.

FlynnD said...


Ah yes! Dino's inspiration, his idol: Harry Mills.

Brent McKee said...

In their early work they were billed as "four boys and a guitar" and it was constantly stated that the guitar was the only musical instrument used on their recordings. Amazing talents.