Witold Lutoslawski and “Funeral Music”


Witold Roman Lutosławski (January 25, 1913 –February 7, 1994) was a Polish composer and orchestral conductor, who was one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and one of the preeminent Polish musicians during his last three decades, earning many international awards and prizes with such compositions as four symphonies, a Concerto for Orchestra, a string quartet, instrumental works, concertos, and orchestral song cycles.  Lutosławski’s parents were both born into the Polish landed nobility.  Józef studied in Zürich, where in 1904 he met and married a fellow student, Maria Olszewska, returning to Warsaw in 1905.   Witold, the youngest of three brothers, was born in Warsaw, Poland, on January 25, 1913, shortly before the outbreak of World War I. In 1915, with Russia at war with Germany, Prussian forces drove towards Warsaw. The Lutosławskis travelled east to Moscow, where Józef remained politically active.  However, in 1917, the February Revolution forced the Tsar to abdicate, and the October Revolution started a new Soviet government that made peace with Germany. Józef’s activities were now in conflict with the Bolsheviks, who arrested him and his brother Marian.   The brothers were interned in Butyrskaya prison in central Moscow, where Lutosławski—by then aged five—visited his father. Józef and Marian were executed by a firing squad in September 1918, some days before their scheduled trial.

After the war, the family returned to the newly independent Poland, only to find their estates ruined. After his father’s death, other members of the family played an important part in Lutoslawski’s early life, especially Józef’s half-brother Kazimierz Lutosławski, a priest and politician.  Lutosławski started piano lessons in Warsaw for two years from the age of six. After the Polish-Soviet War the family left Warsaw to return to Drozdowo, but after a few years of running the estates with limited success, his mother returned to Warsaw. She worked as a physician, and translated books for children from English.  In 1924 Lutosławski entered secondary school at Stefan Batory Gymnasium while continuing piano lessons. A performance of Karol Szymanowski’s Third Symphony deeply affected him. In 1925 he started violin lessons at the Warsaw Music School.   In 1931 he enrolled at Warsaw University to study mathematics, and in 1932 he formally joined the composition classes at the Conservatory. His only composition teacher was Witold Maliszewski, a renowned Polish composer who had been a pupil of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Lutosławski was given a strong grounding in musical structures, particularly movements in sonata form. In 1932 he gave up the violin, and in 1933 he discontinued his mathematics studies to concentrate on the piano and composition. As a student of Jerzy Lefeld, he gained a diploma for piano performance from the Conservatory in 1936, after presenting a virtuoso program including Schumann’s Toccata and Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto. His diploma for composition was awarded by the same institution in 1937.

Military service followed—Lutosławski was trained in signalling and radio operating in Zegrze near Warsaw. He completed his Symphonic Variations in 1939, and the work was premiered by the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Grzegorz Fitelberg, and this performance was broadcast on radio on  March 9, 1939.  Like most young Polish composers, Lutosławski wanted to continue his education in Paris. His plans for further musical study were dashed in September 1939, when Germany invaded western Poland and Russia invaded eastern Poland. Lutosławski was mobilized with the radio unit for the Kraków Army. He was soon captured by German soldiers, but he escaped while being marched to prison camp, and walked 250 miles back to Warsaw. Lutosławski’s brother was captured by Russian soldiers, and later died in a Siberian labor camp.  To earn a living, Lutosławski joined the “Dana Ensemble,” a group of Polish revellers singing in “Ziemiańska Café,” as an arranger-pianist.  Then he formed a piano duo with friend and fellow composer Andrzej Panufnik, and they performed together in Warsaw cafés.  Their repertoire consisted of a wide range of music in their own arrangements, including the first incarnation of Lutosławski’s Paganini Variations, a highly original transcription of the 24th Caprice for solo violin by Niccolò Paganini. Defiantly, they even sometimes played Polish music (the Nazis banned Polish music in Poland—including Chopin), and composed Resistance songs. Listening in cafés was the only way in which the Poles of German-occupied Warsaw could hear live music; putting on concerts was impossible since the Germans occupying Poland prohibited any organized gatherings.  In café Aria, where they played, Lutosławski met his future wife Maria Danuta Bogusławska, a sister of the writer Stanisław Dygat.

Lutosławski left Warsaw in July 1944 with his mother, merely a few days before the Warsaw Uprising, salvaging only a few scores and sketches—the rest of his music was lost during the complete destruction of the city by Germans after the fall of uprising, as were the family’s Drozdowo estates. Of the 200 or so arrangements that Lutosławski and Panufnik had worked on for their piano duo, only Lutosławski’s Paganini Variations survived. Lutosławski returned to the ruins of Warsaw after the Polish-Soviet treaty in April 1945.  During the postwar years, Lutosławski worked on his first symphony—sketches of which he had salvaged from Warsaw—which he had started in 1941 and which was first performed in 1948, conducted by Fitelberg. To provide for his family, he also composed music that he termed functional, such as the Warsaw Suite (written to accompany a silent film depicting the city’s reconstruction), sets of Polish Carols, and the study pieces for piano, Melodie Ludowe (“Folk Melodies”).  In 1945, Lutosławski was elected as secretary and treasurer of the newly constituted Union of Polish Composers (ZKP—Związek Kompozytorów Polskich). In 1946, he married Danuta Bogusławska. The marriage was a lasting one, and Danuta’s drafting skills were of great value to the composer: she became his copyist, and she solved some of the notational challenges of his later works.

In 1947, the Stalinist political climate led to the adoption and imposition by the ruling Polish United Workers’ Party of the tenets of Socialist realism, and the authorities’ condemnation of modern music which was deemed to be non-conformist. This artistic censorship, which ultimately came from Stalin personally, was to some degree prevalent over the whole Eastern bloc, and was reinforced by the 1948 Zhdanov decree. By 1948, the ZKP was taken over by musicians willing to follow the party line on musical matters, and Lutosławski resigned from the committee. He was implacably opposed to the ideas of Socialist realism.  His First Symphony was proscribed as “formalist”, and he found himself shunned by the Soviet authorities, a situation that continued throughout the era of Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko.   Against this background, he was happy to compose pieces for which there was social need, but in 1954 this earned Lutosławski—much to the composer’s chagrin—the Prime Minister’s Prize for a set of children’s songs.   It was his substantial and original Concerto for Orchestra of 1954 that established Lutosławski as an important composer of art music. The work, commissioned in 1950 by the conductor Witold Rowicki for the newly reconstituted Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, earned the composer two state prizes in the following year.

The first performance of Lutoslawski’s Musique funèbre (in Polish, Muzyka żałobna, English Funereal Music or Music of Mourning) took place in 1958. It was written to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of Béla Bartók, but which took the composer four years to complete. This work brought international recognition, the annual ZKP prize and the International Rostrum of Composers prize in 1959. Lutosławski’s harmonic and contrapuntal thinking were developed in this work, and in the Five songs of 1956–57, as he introduced his twelve-note system, the fruits of many years of thought and experiment.  He established another feature of his compositional technique, which became a Lutosławski signature, when he began introducing randomness into the exact synchronization of various parts of the musical ensemble in Jeux vénitiens (“Venetian games”).  These harmonic and temporal techniques became part of every subsequent work, and integral to his style.  In a departure from his usually serious compositions in 1957 to 1963, Lutosławski also composed light music under the pseudonym Derwid. Mostly waltzes, tangos, foxtrots and slow-foxtrots for voice and piano, these pieces are in the genre of Polish actors’ songs. Their place in Lutosławski’s output may be seen as less incongruous given his own performances of cabaret music during the war, and in the light of his relationship by marriage to the famous Polish cabaret singer Kalina Jędrusik (who was his wife’s sister-in-law).

In 1963, Lutosławski fulfilled a commission for the Music Biennale Zagreb, his Trois poèmes d’Henri Michaux for chorus and orchestra. It was the first work he had written for a commission from abroad, and brought him further international acclaim. It earned him a second State Prize for music.  His String Quartet was first performed in Stockholm in 1965, followed the same year by the first performance of his orchestral song-cycle Paroles tissées.   Shortly after this, Lutosławski started work on his Second Symphony, which had two premieres: Pierre Boulez conducted the second movement, Direct, in 1966, and when the first movement, Hésitant, was finished in 1967, the composer conducted a complete performance in Katowice.  In 1968, the work earned Lutosławski first prize from the International Music Council’s International Rostrum of Composers, his third such award, which confirmed his growing international reputation. In 1967 Lutosławski was awarded the Sonning Award, Denmark’s highest musical honor.  The Second Symphony, and Livre pour orchestre and the Cello Concerto which followed, were composed during a particularly traumatic period in Lutosławski’s life. His mother died in 1967, and in 1967–70 there was a great deal of unrest in Poland.   Lutosławski did not support the Soviet regime, and these events have been postulated as reasons for the increase in antagonistic effects in his work, particularly the Cello Concerto of 1968–70 for Rostropovich and the Royal Philharmonic Society.   At the work’s première with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Arthur Bliss presented Rostropovich with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s gold medal.

In 1973, Lutosławski attended a recital given by the baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with the pianist Sviatoslav Richter in Warsaw; he met the singer after the concert and this inspired him to write his extended orchestral song Les espaces du sommeil (“The spaces of sleep”). This work, Preludes and Fugue, Mi-Parti (a French expression that roughly translates as “divided into two equal but different parts”), Novelette, and a short piece for cello in honour of Paul Sacher’s seventieth birthday, occupied Lutosławski throughout the 1970s, while in the background he was working away at a projected third symphony and a concertante piece for the oboist Heinz Holliger. These latter pieces were proving difficult to complete as Lutosławski struggled to introduce greater fluency into his sound world and to reconcile tensions between the harmonic and melodic aspects of his style, and between foreground and background. The Double Concerto for oboe, harp and chamber orchestra—commissioned by Paul Sacher—was finally finished in 1980, and the Third Symphony in 1983. In 1977 he received the Order of the Builders of People’s Poland. In 1983 he received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize.  During this period, Poland was undergoing yet more upheaval. From 1981–89, Lutosławski refused all professional engagements in Poland as a gesture of solidarity with the artists’ boycott. He refused to enter the Culture Ministry to meet any of the ministers, and was careful not be photographed in their company. In 1983, as a gesture of support, he sent a recording of the first performance (in Chicago) of the Third Symphony to Gdańsk to be played to strikers in a local church. In 1983, he was awarded the Solidarity prize, of which Lutosławski was reported to be more proud than any other of his honours.

Through the mid-1980s, Lutosławski composed three pieces called Łańcuch (“Chain”), which refers to the way the music is constructed from contrasting strands which overlap like the links of a chain. Chain 2 was written for Anne-Sophie Mutter (commissioned by Paul Sacher), and for Mutter he also orchestrated his slightly earlier Partita for violin and piano, providing a new linking Interlude, so that when played together the Partita, Interlude and Chain 2 form his longest work.  The Third Symphony earned Lutosławski the first Grawemeyer Prize from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, awarded in 1985.  In 1987 Lutosławski was presented by Michael Tippett with the rarely awarded Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal during a concert in which Lutosławski conducted his Third Symphony; also that year a major celebration of his work was made at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. In addition, he was awarded honorary doctorates at several universities worldwide, including Cambridge.  Lutosławski was at this time writing his Piano Concerto for Krystian Zimerman, commissioned by the Salzburg Festival. His earliest plans to write a piano concerto dated from 1938; he was himself in his younger days a virtuoso pianist. It was a performance of this work and the Third Symphony at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1988 that marked the composer’s return to the conductor’s podium in Poland, after substantive talks had been arranged between the government and the opposition.

Lutosławski also, around 1990, worked on a fourth symphony and his orchestral song-cycle Chantefleurs et Chantefables for soprano. The latter was first performed at a Prom concert in London in 1991, and the Fourth Symphony in 1993 with the composer conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In between, and after initial reluctance, Lutosławski took on the presidency of the newly reconstituted “Polish Cultural Council.”  This had been set up after the reforms in 1989 in Poland brought about by the almost total support for Solidarity in the elections of that year, and the subsequent end of communist rule and the reinstatement of Poland as an independent republic rather than the communist state of the People’s Republic of Poland.  He continued his busy schedule, travelling to the United States, England, Finland, Canada and Japan, and sketching a violin concerto, but by the first week of 1994 it was clear that cancer had taken hold, and after an operation the composer weakened quickly and died on  February 7, 1994, in Warsaw at the age of eighty-one. He had, a few weeks before, been awarded Poland’s highest honor, the Order of the White Eagle (only the second person to receive this since the collapse of communism in Poland—the first had been Pope John Paul II). He was cremated; his devoted wife Danuta died shortly afterwards.

The following work by Witold Lutoslawski is contained in my collection:

Funeral Music.

Hermann Ludwig and “The Gladiator’s Farewell”


Hermann Ludwig (November 14, 1876 –May 15, 1956) was a German composer of military marches.  Born on November 14, 1876, in Thamsbrück, Germany as Hermann Louis Blankenburg, he was the only son of three children of Johann Heinrich and Ernestine Friederike Koch Blankenburg.  Later in life he changed his middle name to Ludwig perhaps as a connection to Beethoven.  Many of his works were published under the penname Hermann Ludwig.  Raised on a sheep farm in Thamsbrücke, he was expected someday to manage the farm. However, he showed a propensity for music starting with performing on the piccolo, a favorite instrument his entire life. His family agreed on his studying music as long as he promised to serve in the army for twelve years.

Ludwig taught himself to play various instruments including bassoon, tuba, and violin, and he conducted his school orchestra at the age of ten. He served actively in the military for two years, from 1896 to 1898, performing tuba in the band of the 6th Field Artillery Regiment in Breslau. A march he wrote when he was eighteen was submitted years later, in 1904, to Hawkes and Son for a march competition. Hawkes selected his march from over 500 submitted as first prize with the proviso the title could be changed from “Deutschlands Fürsten” (Germany’s Princes) to “The Gladiators’ Farewell” (Abschied der Gladiatoren). The march became popular, and Hawkes (later Boosey and Hawkes) would publish several more including “Adlerflug”, “Festjubel”, “Territorial”, and “Mein Regiment” (the latter said to be the composer’s own favorite march).

Ludwig’s only other military service was prior to and during the early years of World War I in reserve bands. In 1913 he performed tuba in Field Artillery Regiment No. 43 in Wesel until 1915 when he got a medical discharge. He remained in Wesel for the rest of his life.   Ludwig played in and conducted community bands as well as performing in the orchestras in Dortmund, Wuppertal, and Duisburg. He also worked as a bricklayer and a policeman for a short time.  In the 1920s and 30s his marches attained European fame. Instead of accepting commissions, he composed marches when inspired. After World War II his compositional efforts dropped off. Despite the presence of military titles for many of his marches and his short military band service, Ludwig’s compositions were never accorded official recognition by Germany’s military authorities.

Ludwig is likely the most prolific march composer in history. For twenty years he composed at least one march a week. His one thousandth march was composed in 1928: “Der Tausendkünstler” (Jack of All Trades), dedicated to fellow composer Paul Lincke. He continued to compose marches for another 20 years after this. Ludwig numbered his march compositions at 1,328, but he was careless in assigning opus numbers or in completing compositions. He also renamed some older marches with new titles. The highest opus number discovered is 1275 (for the march “Semper Paratus” likely published in 1936) and the lowest is 9 (for “Fliegerhelden Marsch”). There are long gaps in the sequence of opus numbers and many marches have no opus number assigned. At least 300 of his marches were published by thirty different publishers, but many more are lost or destroyed. Over 100 of Blankenburg’s marches were recorded in the Heritage of the March series.

Ludwig’s marches are all in the characteristic German style and he was fond of writing soaring euphonium countermelodies which required a highly competent euphonium section prepared to perform in the upper register of the instrument. His marches also stressed the piccolo, clarinet, and cornet sections.  Opinions vary on the quality of his marches. Some have said that it is difficult to tell his marches apart, but others have considered him the greatest march writer who ever lived.  At the age of 60, he was made an honorary citizen of Thamsbrück.   A few months before his 81st birthday, Ludwig intended to compose another march, but he died in Wesel, Germany, on May 15, 1956, before accomplishing this.

My collection includes the following work by Hermann Ludwig:

The Gladiator’s Farewell.

Bob Lowden and “Disney Magic”


Robert William “Bob” Lowden (July 23, 1920-October 30, 1998) was an internationally known American composer, music educator, conductor, arranger, and trombonist.  Lowden was born on July 23, 1920, in Camden, New Jersey.  Lowden played trumpet and trombone in the concert orchestra of the Camden High School. He studied music at the College of South Jersey. His study was interrupted during World War II and he served as a trombonist in the Military Music Chapel of the 322th United States Army in Fort Dix. After the war he studied at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He married Doris Elizabeth Potter on August 5 1946, and they had three children.

For some time, Lowden worked as a trainer and instructor for concert orchestras and as a music teacher in public schools in Camden, New Jersey, in the 1950s. He was also an arranger and trombonist of both the Johnny Austin Orchestra and the Oscar Dumont Band, which both then performed at the Sunset Beach Ballroom in Almonesson, New Jersey.  Along with Gerry Mulligan, he also arranged for the big band of Claude Thornhill and Oscar Dumont.   After Joseph Kuhn died in 1958, Lowden was hired by the Somerset label’s owner and impresario, D.L. Miller, and from 1958 to 1968, he worked as a composer and chief arranger for their 101 Strings Orchestra which had 150 albums of popular music during this period, including the titles Happy Hobo and My Valleyvan Lowden, among others.

Lowden occasionally got to venture into more adventuresome territory, and he arranged and conducted one excellent percussion showcase album, Motion in Percussion, which includes a wide range of stereo sound effects and a respectable sample of space age pop standards such as “Caravan.”  Lowden was also responsible for producing dozens of arrangements of big band classics for music publishers such as Hal Leonard and J.W. Pepper.  Lowden was one of the best known modern day composers and arrangers for symphony orchestras, big bands, and jazz ensembles. Not only did his works encompass professional orchestras, film, and recordings, but also he was a major contributor of musical arrangements for American’s college and high school performers. He was also in demand as a clinician and adjudicator of instrumental Festivals. Later, he worked as chief executive for th Pennsylvania Pops and also for the Ocean City Pops.  Mr. Lowden died on October 30, 1998, in Medford, New Jersey.

The following work by Robert W. Lowden is contained in my collection:

Disney Magic.

The Problem with Homeschooling

The Problem with Homeschooling
by Marlin Detweiler, epistula from Veritas Press (December 2011)

The title is not intended to suggest this article will be a critical rant about an educational approach. After all, a very large percentage of our business comes from the homeschooling community, and I am not one to bite the hand that feeds me. Rather, it is intended to recognize that, like every endeavor, there are strengths and weaknesses that can be addressed in order to help or improve things.

One strategy is to look for weaknesses and then look for ways to shore them up—even, sometimes, turning them into strengths. That is the approach taken here. It’s the weakest link theory. That is, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Here at Veritas Press we have observed several links that we think are worth serious consideration in order to have them be strengthened. We have now interacted with tens of thousands maybe even hundreds of thousands of homeschooling folks, and we see some common themes—some of which seem problematic.

This article will focus on one of these weaknesses. It’s not necessarily the most important or significant one, but to us it is one of the most glaring.

It’s math.

Read more:


Poplar Creek School, Baltimore, OH

poplar creek1

Poplar Creek School House and Cemetery

3951 Reynoldsburg-Baltimore Rd.

Baltimore, OH 43105

The Poplar Creek School is located on the south side of OH-256, across from Heimberger Road, outside Baltimore, Ohio, in Liberty Township, Fairfield County. Poplar Creek Cemetery is located next to the old Poplar Creek Schoolhouse. It is no longer active. Many of the gravestones have been damaged, but the township has been restoring the damaged markers. The grounds are very well maintained.  The site is owned and operated by the Baltimore Area Community Museum.




poplar creek

Mike Love and “Kokomo”


Michael Edward “Mike” Love (born March 15, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who, characterized by his nasal, sometimes baritone singing, co-founded the Beach Boys, and has been one of the band’s vocalists and lyricists for most of their career, contributing to each of their studio albums.   Love’s mother, Emily (known as “Glee”) Wilson, was the sister of Mary and Murry Wilson, a family resident in Los Angeles CA, since the early 1920s. Glee married Edward Milton Love, the son of the founder of the Love Sheet Metal Company, in 1938. Michael Edward, the first of six children, was born in the Baldwin Hills district of Los Angeles, on March 15, 1941; thereafter the family moved to the upmarket View Park area. Mike attended Dorsey High School and graduated in 1959. Unsure of a career direction, he pumped gas and briefly joined his father’s company, whose fortunes dramatically declined in the late 1950s. Both Milt and Glee Love were active in sports, and Glee had a distinct interest in painting and the arts. The family was close-knit and regularly socialized with Murry and Audree Wilson and their sons. Murry Wilson was a part-time songwriter.

Mike Love often sang at family get-togethers at his cousins, the Wilsons’, home in nearby Hawthorne, especially at Christmas. It was here, under the vocal harmony guidance of Brian Wilson, that the Beach Boys sound was established, predominantly influenced by Brian’s devotion to the Four Freshmen’s arrangements. Musical accompaniment during this formative phase was solely Brian’s self-taught piano, but this was quickly expanded by the guitar contributions of Brian’s college friend Al Jardine (whose fundamental interest was folk music) and Carl Wilson (whose idol was Chuck Berry).  With the failure of Love Sheet Metal, the family was forced to move to a modest two-bedroom house in Inglewood, closer to the Wilsons.  Love played rudimentary saxophone in the first years of the fledgling garage band that evolved from the Pendletones to the Beach Boys.  He also established himself, along with neighbor Gary Usher, local DJ Roger Christian, and others, as collaborators with Brian Wilson in the band’s original compositions.  As the Beach Boys’ career developed, all members contributed lead vocals to hit songs; but Love remained the central vocal focus on songs like “Do It Again.”  As a writer, Love’s lyrical growth is evident from “The Warmth of the Sun”, a song written on November 22, 1963, partly in response to the assassination of President John F Kennedy.  In the mid 1960s, Love collaborated with Wilson and was a lyricist on singles including “Fun, Fun, Fun” (1964) and “California Girls” (1965). During this period, his lyrics primarily reflected the youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, which helped fashion pop culture’s perception of the “California Dream.”

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, as Brian Wilson’s weight, health, and mental stability fluctuated wildly, Mike Love continued to tour, effectively leading the Beach Boys on stage, with Carl Wilson as de facto musical director of the band. Love’s songs became increasingly solo compositions (words and music) such as “Big Sur” (1973), “Everyone’s in Love With You” (1976) and “Sumahama” (1978).  In 1976–77, Love and partners Ron Altbach and jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd created the short-lived Love Songs Records. This was to be the vehicle for releasing Love’s solo records along with the band Celebration and other projects. The company had its own recording studio and publishing facility at Loves’s residence in Santa Barbara, CA.  In the mid-1970s he fronted the band Celebration, which achieved the top 30 hit single Almost Summer (co-written with Brian Wilson and Jardine).

In the late 1970s Love recorded two unreleased solo albums, First Love and Country Love. Love’s first and only official-release solo album, Looking Back with Love (1981), included versions of pop standards like Neil Sedaka’s “Calendar Girl” as well as a self-penned number, “Paradise Found.”  Love worked with Dean Torrence in the early 1980s on singles and on the compilation Rock ‘n’ Roll City.  In 1988, the Beach Boys had a U.S. number 1 hit with “Kokomo,” the only number one the band achieved without Brian Wilson’s involvement.  Love (along with “Kokomo” co-writers Scott McKenzie, Terry Melcher, and John Phillips) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award (1988) in the Original Song category, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Kokomo.”  Also in 1988, Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other founding members of the Beach Boys.

After the death of Carl Wilson in 1998, Love continued to tour with the Beach Boys, along with Bruce Johnston and a supporting band of new musicians, occasionally including actor John Stamos. He leased exclusive rights to tour under the Beach Boys name in a boardroom settlement with Brother Records, the Beach Boys’ company.   In 1998, Love and his closest ally in the Beach Boys, Bruce Johnston, recorded the album Symphonic Sounds: Music of the Beach Boys with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, London. Featured on the disc were newly arranged versions of songs like Johnston’s “Disney Girls (1957)” and “Darlin'” featuring Matt Jardine.  Love contributed one track to the 2003 Bruce Springsteen tribute CD (singing “Hungry Heart”), and also lent his voice to a Bruce Johnston–produced album for the Kings Singers. He also re-recorded a number of classic Beach Boys hits, released on the collections Catch a Wave, Salute NASCAR, and Summertime Cruisin’. In 2003 Love announced plans for a new solo album, variously reported as Unleash The Love and Mike Love, Not War (not to be confused with the Beach Boys bootleg of the same name). Two conspicuous tracks off the work-in-progress are “Cool Head, Warm Heart,” which appeared on an official Beach Boys–related collection, and “Pisces Brothers,” a reminiscence of his time in India with George Harrison.

On December 16, 2011, it was announced that Love would reunite with Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks for a new Beach Boys album and 50th anniversary tour in 2012. The group appeared at the 2012 Grammy Awards on February 12, followed by a 50-date tour that began in Tucson, AZ in April.  On June 5, 2012, the Beach Boys’ reunion album That’s Why God Made the Radio was released. Eleven tracks were co-written by Brian Wilson (mostly with Joe Thomas). The Love-composed track “Daybreak Over the Ocean” features Love’s children Christian and Hayleigh on backing vocals, augmented by Jeff Foskett and the remaining original Beach Boys.   Love was awarded Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.  His autobiography entitled Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy was published on September 13, 2016.

My collection includes the following work by Mike Love:


Jay Livingston and “Silver Bells”


Jay Livingston (March 28, 1915 – October 17, 2001) was an American composer best known as half of a songwriting duo with Ray Evans that specialized in songs composed for films in which Livingston wrote music and words along with Evans the lyrics.  Livingston was born Jacob Harold Levison on March 28, 1915, in McDonald, Pennsylvania,  to a Jewish mother and father.  Livingston studied piano with Harry Archer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he organized a dance band and met Evans, a fellow student in the band. Their professional collaboration began in 1937.

Livingston and Evans won the Academy Award for Best Original Song three times, in 1948 for the song “Buttons and Bows,” written for the movie The Paleface; in 1950 for the song “Mona Lisa,” written for the movie Captain Carey, U.S.A.; and in 1956 for the song “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera),” featured in the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much. They also wrote “Tammy” for the movie Tammy and the Bachelor in 1957.

Livingston and Evans also wrote popular TV themes for shows including Bonanza and Mister Ed. In addition, they wrote the Christmas song “Silver Bells” in 1951, for the film The Lemon Drop Kid.  Initially they called it “Tinkle Bells” but changed it to “Silver” because of the common connotation of “tinkle.”  Another of their hit songs was “Never Let Me Go” for the 1956 film The Scarlet Hour. Fans of Johnny Mathis remember Mr. Livingston for All The Time among others.  Livingston appeared as himself with Evans in the New Year’s Eve party scene of the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard.

Livingston was married to Lynne Gordon until her death in 1991; they had one  child Travilyn.  He married actress Shirley Mitchell in 1992.  His brother, longtime Capitol Records executive Alan W. Livingston, is best known for creating “Bozo the Clown” and signing Frank Sinatra and The Beatles among other legends with Capitol.  Livingston was an inductee in the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. He died in Los Angeles, California, on October 17, 2001, and his body was interred there in Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery.   In 2004, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission installed a historical marker in McDonald, Pennsylvania, noting Livingston’s historic importance.

The following work by Jay Livingston is contained in my collection:

Silver Bells (from The Lemon Drop Kid, 1951).