Archive for the ‘Music: The Power to Enchant’ Category

Thousand Islands, Canada. Award winning image (Pfizer Labs national calendar contest) by Paul Goldfinger



Theme Music:  Cavalleria Rusticana,  Intermezzo— by Pietro Mascagni.  Featured in “Raging Bull” and “Midsummer’s Night Dream.”

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Autumn, Scotrun, Pennsylvania. By Paul Goldfinger. Left click for full image. Copyright 2012.

Autumn, Scotrun, Pennsylvania. By Paul Goldfinger. Left click for full image. Copyright 2012.

There’s a town in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, near the Delaware Water Gap, called Scotrun. John and Jean live up a curved country road named after the family that settled that area. It’s called Krantz Hill Road. You drive up the hill and pass old barns and houses, spread apart. Hunters track deer in that part of the country. When deer season starts, schools are closed so the kids can join in. It starts with bow season, and then the guns appear.

John and Jean have a long driveway that rises to their home which was built in the 1930′s and sits on a hill. It’s a perfect house for that property which consists of woods and fields. They can relax in their living room and see the Gap. (No, not the store at the mall.)

They also can see the deer moving through along with bear that prowl around the neighborhood. They have rigged up a bird feeder that the bears can’t reach, and quite a variety of birds migrate that way.

Delaware Water Gap taken from John and Jean’s porch in Scotrun. By Paul Goldfinger

Delaware Water Gap taken from John and Jean’s porch in Scotrun. By Paul Goldfinger

If you walk through those woods, you find old stone walls which are common through woodsy areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. John is a hunter whose field dog is a German short hair named Gillie who gets to run free through the woods around the house, until John calls him. John is a no-nonsense guy, and that dog comes right back when summoned.

SOUNDTRACK. “Snowstorm Suite III: Spring and Autumn” by the Hermitage Museum Orchestra conducted by Alexander Titov. The Suite is composed by Georgy Sviridov (1915-1998. Russian)

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Ocean Grove scenic.

Ocean Grove,  2012.  Paul Goldfinger photo.  ©  Re-posted from 2013 on Blogfinger.net. 


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By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff. Embedded with the Asbury Park Fire Dept. ©

By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff. Embedded with the Asbury Park Fire Dept. ©  Click on photo to enlarge.  Undated/


ALTENBURG BOYS CHOIR   “Ave Verum K618” by Mozart from the film Lorenzo’s Oil .   


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2012 re-post, but still “boom badoom”


Yo, Wassup?   It’s Nicky Minaj and “Super Bass.”  You know what I’m sayin’?   —-PG and pg13

“Boy you got my heartbeat runnin’ away.   

Beating like a drum and it’s coming your way

Can’t you hear that boom, badoom, boom

Boom, badoom, boom bass?

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Notre Dame, Paris. By Paul Goldfinger
Click for full view.


SOUNDTRACK:   “Sheep may safely graze.”   Bach.  Lumiere String Quartet

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Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks performing at the Club Caché in Manhattan.   PG photo

Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks are a New York based “jazz repertory and society dance band.”  They won a  Grammy for the soundtrack of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”

In their 1996  album Cheek to Cheek they have produced a collection of hits from the 1930’s that were made famous in the movies starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.  Here’s one of them:

“A Fine Romance” was written by Dorothy Fields (lyrics) and Jerome Kern. This song was only one of two for which she wrote the lyrics before the music was composed.  The song is from the 1936  movie Swing Time and is performed here by the Nighthawks.

We often post the Nighthawks music on Blogfinger.net;  people love the nostalgia of that era.


Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

(This piece is re-posted. It was first presented on Blogfinger in July, 2014.)

It was Saturday night, July 18, 1925, at 8:15 p.m., when vocalist Paul Robeson and his accompanist Lawrence Brown strode onto the stage of the Great Auditorium to present a concert of “Soul Stirring Negro Spirituals” (1)  to an integrated audience of three thousand people. Mr. Robeson, an imposing black man, was twenty seven years old. He was already famous as a screen and stage actor as well as a singer.  He was a true Renaissance man who would become one of the most popular performing artists of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Robeson, who was born (1898) and raised in New Jersey, was an All-American football player and Phi Beta Kappa at Rutgers University and an honors graduate of the Columbia University Law School. As a college student, Robeson was friends with the Day family who owned Day’s Ice Cream “Gardens” in Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. He had a summer job as a singing waiter at Day’s. (3)  When he came to Ocean Grove for his 1925 concert, he had just completed a triumphant run at The Provincetown Theatre in New York, where he performed the lead role in Eugene O’Neill’s “All God’s Children Got Wings.”

He had friends at the Algonquin Round Table in New York City, and it was there, with the encouragement of his colleagues, that he decided to do a concert tour with an entire program of “Negro” spirituals and secular songs also known as “slave or plantation music.” This would be the first time that this music would be performed in concert, and he would appear with his close friend Lawrence Brown, also an African-American, who was a gifted composer, pianist and singer. The two would work together for thirty years. The first stop on the tour was The Greenwich Village Theatre in New York City, and then, three months later, he appeared in Ocean Grove.

The concert was reviewed by the Asbury Park Press, which said, “Robeson showed an intelligent appreciation of his task and a splendid voice.” They called him “a talented son of this state” and they described “great applause” in the Auditorium. Among the songs which he and Lawrence Brown sang were “Go Down Moses,” “Weepin’ Mary” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”

The following month he performed his concert in Spring Lake. They would tour for five years, all over the world, with this program. Later, Robeson would become the third most popular radio artist in the USA in the 20’s and 30’s. In the 1940’s he was the highest paid concert performer in the country and he was also successful as a recording artist. He would sing in the first production of “Showboat” and he would play Othello on Broadway and in England. He would star in eleven movies.

But his visit to OG that night was not only about music; it was also about recognition of African American culture and the elevation of that folk music to high art. In addition, Robeson always was about hope for African Americans, and performing that music was his way to offer pride and encouragement to his people. In 2004, when Barack Obama gave his “Audacity of Hope” speech at the Democratic convention, the first example he cited was, “…the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs.”


Robeson would accomplish much in his life, but his greatest contribution would be his tireless and life-long advocacy for civil rights. In 1925, Martin Luther King wasn’t born yet, and the “civil rights movement” would not begin until the 1950’s. Imagine how much courage was required for a black man to step forward publicly on behalf of racial justice at a time when lynchings were still occurring in this country. In 1921 a race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma resulted in the deaths of 20 whites and 60 blacks. In 1922, an anti-lynching bill was defeated by filibuster in the US Senate. In 1925, the year of the concert, there were 17 reported lynchings in the US. Jim Crow laws could be found in many states, but Paul Robeson pressed for racial justice wherever he went and for his entire life.

Robeson had been “eagerly” (1) looking forward to his concert in The Great Auditorium. It is likely that he was aware that many “extraordinary African Americans” (2) had appeared there in the past, including the famous Marian Anderson (1921),  Booker T Washington (1908), the singing evangelist Amanda Berry Smith (late 1800’s) and many renowned black  preachers. The Ocean Grove Historical Society has documented the African American History Trail in our town. (2)

In 1998, the Ocean Grove Historical Society celebrated the 100th anniversary of Robeson’s birth by a day-long commemoration featuring lectures, dance, a book signing and an exhibition. The centerpiece of the program was a re-creation of the 1925 concert in the Auditorium. They brought the noted African American bass Kevin Maynor, who used the original program and reproduced the concert from 73 years earlier. This remarkable event was made possible by a committee of Ocean Grovers led by Rhoda Newman (chairman), Kevin Chambers, Phillip May, Jr., and others.

Paul Robeson’s contributions have been recognized many times in the form of tributes at Carnegie Hall and NJPAC, plus many articles, books, exhibits and documentaries. He is a part of Ocean Grove’s musical heritage which includes Enrico Caruso, Duke Ellington, John Phillip Sousa, and Pearl Bailey (2). Paul Robeson died in 1976 at age 77. Five thousand people attended the funeral in Harlem.

Paul Robeson sings “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” from The Complete EMI Sessions 1928-1939, remastered 2008.


1. Asbury Park Press Archives (Asbury Park Library)

2. Ocean Grove Historical Society Archives (Ms. Rhoda Newman)

3. Mr. Kevin Chambers, Ocean Grove Historian

4. Ocean Grove Times Archives (Neptune Township Library: Mrs. Marian R.Bauman, Director)



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Jr. Walker and the All Stars. Internet photo

Jr. Walker and the All Stars. Internet photo

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What instrument has stood the test of time as the most romantic musical instrument? No, it’s not the organ. And no, Mr. Wiseguy, it’s not the bass drum or the electrified flute. Now I suppose, if you want to stretch the definition of a musical instrument, you might say the human voice. Frank Sinatra comes to mind.

But Stradivarius  knew the answer — it is the violin.  So here we have the sine qua non of romantic music: Frank Sinatra singing “Close to You” with a lovely violin solo.

Am I right about this? Any other ideas?  But please, no exotic instruments from Asia and forget about the ocarina and the French horn. If you tried to get romantic with a French horn, you could hurt yourself.    —Paul Goldfinger  (re-posted from 2012 on Blogfinger)

Ladies and germs: Here’s Frankie:

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