David W. Reeves and the “Second Regiment Connecticut” March


David Wallis Reeves (February 14, 1838 – March 8, 1900) was an American composer, cornetist, and bandleader, who developed the American march style, later made famous by the likes of John Philip Sousa, and whose innovations include adding a countermelody to the American march form in 1876.  Also known as D. W. Reeves or Wally Reeves, Reeves was born on February 14, 1838, in Oswego, New York. In the early 1850s, he joined the Oswego band as an alto horn player, but soon moved to cornet, the instrument for which he would become famous. He occasionally performed with Jules Levy, another famous cornetist of the period.  Reeves was a cornetist with the Dodworth Band of New York before being recruited by the American Brass Band of Providence, Rhode Island in 1866. He joined the ensemble on February 17, and was elected its leader on April 9. His initial compensation was $600 per year, plus the proceeds of one concert, in return for which he agreed to conduct the band on all occasions.  He eventually added woodwinds to the formerly all-brass band, which became known as Reeves’ American Band. It was known as one of the best marching bands in the country during his tenure. In 1871, Reeves married Sarah Blanding. Blanding had a daughter from a previous marriage, and they were later to have a son, David W. Reeves, Jr.

In 1878, Reeves led a performance of H.M.S. Pinafore, using a boat for the stage, which Arthur Sullivan took note of.  In 1892, he accepted the directorship of Patrick Gilmore’s Twenty-Second New York Regiment band after Gilmore’s death, but returned to the American Band after a year.   Later in the 1890s, he served as a judge for the New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association’s band competitions.  By the time of his death in 1900, he had composed over 100 works. Early in 1900, he contracted Bright’s disease.  He died, aged 62, on March 8, 1900, at Providence, Rhode Island.   His funeral service took place at the First Baptist Church in America, where he had frequently led the American Band as part of Brown University’s Commencement ceremonies, and included a performance of his Immortalis by the American Band. Sousa, who called Reeves “The Father of Band Music in America” and stated he wished he himself had written Reeves’ “Second Regiment Connecticut National Guard March,” sent 200 roses in his memory. He was buried at Swan Point Cemetery with Masonic honors. In 1926, a marble fountain was built as a memorial to Reeves in Roger Williams Park in Providence.

My collection includes the following work by David W. Reeves:

Second Regiment Connecticut.

Joseph Rauski and the French National Defile March


Joseph François Rauski (December 13, 1837 – March 26, 1910) was a French military bandmaster and arranger.  Rauski was born on December 13, 1837, at Sarreguemines , France, and became a military bandmaster of, among others, the Musique du 18eme régiment d’infanterie.  In this function he was commissioned by his superior to arrange the French National Defile March from a collection of 12 pieces by Jean Robert Planquette.  This was originally a patriotic poem written in 1870 by Paul Cezano in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War and the first days of France’s Third Republic, and was referenced to the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse. The music was written in 1871 by Planquette, and was known as the March Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse for military music chapel. The modified march was performed in 1879 on the “Place de Verdun” in Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) by the Musique du 18eme régiment d’infanterie led by Rauski.

Since then, Rauski has often beem mentioned as  the composer rather than an arranger of this march, including a release of a version of this march for small orchestra and piano by Arthur-Jean Turlet in Paris.  Rauske died on March 26, 1910, at Arcachon, France.  The French musicologist Émile Vuillermoz corrected this incorrect attribution in 1937 and restored Jean Robert Planquette as a composer with Paul Cézano as lyricist, arranged as a march by Joseph Francois Rauski.  The French National Defile March has been played in many football games in the United States, especially with the Marching Band of the Ohio State University as they execute their “Script Ohio” formation (complete with one tuba player “dotting the ‘I'”).

The following work by Joseph Rauski is contained in my collection:

French National Defile March.

Preventing Rudeness in Homeschooled Children by Barbara Frank

Preventing Rudeness in Homeschooled Children

by Barbara Frank from The Link Homeschool Magazine (December 16, 2011)

My family has gotten to know a lot of great kids over the course of our 14 years of homeschooling. We’ve found homeschooled kids to be generally pleasant, smart, and independent. But homeschooling does not create the perfect child. While I am opposed to formal schooling on many levels, I do think being exposed to a herd of kids on a daily basis does one thing for a child that cannot be replicated in the home, unless the child comes from a huge family.

Before I define that solitary benefit of classroom life, let me take you back in time to the days of vaudeville. Back then, if the singer on the stage was not very talented, or if the magician made too many mistakes, the audience responded by booing, hollering, and sometimes even throwing vegetables. If the act was lame enough, the management brought out the Hook, an actual giant hook that stagehands used to reach out from the wings and pull the offending performers offstage.

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Gene Raskin and Those Were the Days


Eugene or “Gene” Raskin (September 5, 1909 –June 7, 2004) was an American musician and playwright, author of the lyrics of the English version of the Russian song “Those Were the Days” and also of three books on architecture, and adjunct professor at Columbia University (1936–1976).  Raskin was born in the Bronx, New York, on September 5, 1909. He studied at Columbia University and eventually became adjunct professor of architecture at his Alma Mater between 1936 and 1976.  He wrote three plays: in 1949 One’s a Crowd, a comedy about an atomic scientist who develops four personalities after his experiments go horribly wrong; in 1951 a romantic play entitled Amata; and later, The Old Friend.

In 1954, Raskin published Architecturally Speaking, the first of three books on the subject.   He also wrote a novel, Stranger in my Arms. In the early 1960s, Raskin and his wife Francesca played folk music in clubs around Greenwich Village in New York under the name Gene & Francesca. In 1962 they released an album which included “Those Were the Days,” a folk tune of either Russian or Ukrainian origins traditionally known as “Dorogoj Dlinnoyu,” attributed to Russian composer Boris Fomin which Gene had grown up hearing, and dating back to the turn of the 20th century.  Recorded by Russian cabaret star Alexander Vertinsky and gypsy singers Rada & Nikolai Volshaninov, the song gained international recognition when it was performed by Maria Schell in the 1958 movie adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov.  Gene wrote lyrics in English, then put a copyright on both tune and lyrics.

Though Raskin’s version contained new English lyrics, it retained the original’s lovely melody.  Initially both “Those Were the Days” and Raskin’s original “That’s Just the Way It Goes” were later taken up and popularized by the Limelighters or Limeliters. Gene and his wife were international balladeers for years. They played London’s Blue Angel every year and always closed their show with “Those Were the Days.” Paul McCartney frequented the club when they were performing in 1966, and two years later, when the Beatles formed the Apple label, they recorded Welsh vocalist Mary Hopkin singing “Those Were the Days” in 1968, the right to which had been purchased by Paul McCartney through his agent and the Raskin agent.  The resulting single topped the U.K. pop charts for six weeks in the autumn of 1968; Hopkin subsequently recorded renditions in Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Hebrew as well, selling eight million copies worldwide and becoming Apple’s biggest hit outside of the Beatles’ own recordings.  The song became an international blockbuster and subsequently was released in many versions by anyone who could hum or play a Jew’s harp, or even stamp their feet. It was recorded in over twenty languages. The Ventures, Engelbert Humperdinck, the 5th Dimension, Wanda Jackson, and the Three Tenors all recorded “Those Were the Days” in the decades to follow.

At the peak of the song’s success, a New York company made a commercial using the melody to Raskin’s version but used their own lyrics, “Rokeach Ga-filte-fish, Rokeach Ga-filte-fish”…, saying that the tune was an old Russian folk tune and was in public domain. Raskin sued and won his case and a settlement, since he had altered the tune a bit to fit his lyrics and had taken out the valid new copyright.   At one time, Raskin opened mail containing a check for $26,000, which was the royalties just for the U.S. mechanicals for that month. Raskin bought a home in Pollensa, Mallorca, a Porsche “Spider,” and a sailboat, and lived very well off his royalties for the rest of his life.  He also got royalties from his novel, Stranger in my Arms, his play, The Old Friend, and his several books on architecture, including Sequel to Cities in 1971 and Architecture and People in 1974, which are still used in various universities around the world. Raskin died in Manhattan, New York on June 7, 2004.

My collection includes the following work by Gene Raskin.

Those Were the Days (based on a Russian folk song; 1968).

Cutler School #2 , Cutler, OH


Cutler School #2 Community Center

4450 Two Mile Run Rd

Cutler, OH  45724

Cutler is an unincorporated community in southwestern Fairfield Township, Washington County, Ohio. Although it is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 45724. It lies at the intersection of State Route 555 and County Road 59 near Gilbert Run, a subsidiary of the Little Hocking River, which meets the Ohio River at Little Hocking to the southeast.  Cutler was originally called Harshaville, and under the latter name was laid out in 1857, and named for Dr. John M. Harsha, the original owner of the town site. The present name honors William P. Cutler, an early settler. A post office called Cutler has been in operation since 1863.  The Cutler Community Center, formerly the Cutler School #2 on Two Mile Run Road which was built in 1960, enlarged in 1974, and closed in 2008, provides assistance with emergency needs (i.e., food, transportation to medical appointments) for local residents. In February, 2017, they donated $300 to a family where the Dad is fighting cancer and cannot work, and the Mom has medical issues preventing her from being employed.  It also serves as a polling place in Decatur Township and cosponsors events with The Multicultural Genealogical Center of Chesterhill.


David Raksin and the Theme from “Laura”


David Raksin (August 4, 1912 – August 9, 2004) was an American composer who was renowned for his work in film and television and with over 100 film scores and 300 television scores to his credit became known as the “Grandfather of Film Music.”  Raksin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 4, 1912. His father was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra in addition to conducting and performing in concert bands and  orchestra for silent movies. Raksin began studying piano as a child and by 12 was fronting his own dance band.  Also he played professionally in dance bands while attending Central High School of Philadelphia, even appearing on the local CBS radio station — he taught himself orchestration while still in high school, funding his subsequent studies at the University of Pennsylvania by performing with society bands and radio orchestras.

At the University of Pennsylvania Raksin studied composition with Harl McDonald and later with Isadore Freed in New York and Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles.  After graduation, Raksin settled in New York City, working as a pianist and arranger with several orchestras; in time he crossed paths with pianist Oscar Levant, who was so impressed by his arrangement of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” that he alerted Gershwin himself. Gershwin was so impressed that he arranged for Raksin to join the Harms/Chappell team, then the dominant arranging force in all of Broadway, as an arranger.  Raksin remained with Harms/Chappell until 1935, when he relocated to Hollywood.  One of his earliest film assignments was as assistant to Charlie Chaplin in the composition of the score to Modern Times (1936), arranging the film’s score based on melodies Chaplin would hum or whistle.

Raksin briefly returned to Philadelphia long enough to assist conductor Leopold Stokowski in premiering his concert piece “Montage” before returning to Hollywood full-time — in 1937 alone, Raksin racked up no fewer than 11 different film credits, and he would maintain a frenetic pace for decades to follow. He is perhaps best remembered for his score for the film Laura (1944), Otto Preminger’s atmospheric murder mystery.  The theme music for the film, “Laura,” with the addition of lyrics by Johnny Mercer, became a major hit, recorded by Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, and countless others. . During Raksin’s lifetime, “Laura” was said to be the second most-recorded song in history following “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish.

Raksin earned his first Academy Award nomination in 1947 for his work on the period drama Forever Amber; he earned his only other Oscar bid 11 years later for Separate Tables, never taking home a statuette. He nevertheless worked on some of the most celebrated motion pictures of the postwar era, among them Abraham Polonsky’s Force of Evil and Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life.  Raksin’s theme song “The Bad and the Beautiful” (also called “Love is For the Very Young”) for Vincente Minnelli’s 1953 film The Bad and the Beautiful (1953) was also a hit, although not as popular as “Laura.”  Raksin insisted that the song be released as an instrumental because he had resented having to split the proceeds from “Laura” with a lyricist. Raksin’s theme for “The Bad and the Beautiful” was initially disliked by the film’s director Vincente Minnelli and producer John Houseman, but was saved from rejection by the intervention of Adolph Green and Betty Comden, who both liked it. The theme has since been praised by Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Rosenman, Richard Rodney Bennett, and Alexander Courage. Sondheim reportedly called it “one of the best themes ever written in films.”

In all, Raksin scored in excess of 100 films, not to mention themes and scores for more than 300 television programs including Life With Father and, in the 1960s, the theme song for (and the score for the pilot of) the medical drama television series Ben Casey. He also worked in radio, most notably writing, narrating, and conducting interviews for a three-year series of 64 hour-long programs entitled The Subject Is Film Music. Later in life, from 1956 until his death, Raksin taught film composition at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Raksin’s film and television output slowed during the 1970s, and in 1983 he completed his last major celluloid score for the landmark telefilm The Day After; soon after he received a commission from the Library of Congress, premiering his choral work “Oedipus Memneitai (Oedipus Remembers)” on October 30, 1986.  Raksin died on August 9, 2004, at his home in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, CA, aged 92. At the time of his death, it was announced that Raksin had completed his autobiography, titled If I Say So Myself. The book was eventually published under the title The Bad and the Beautiful: My Life in a Golden Age of Film Music.  In 2012, he was named for a Lifetime Achievement Award for a Past Film Composer.  David Raksin was among the most prolific and storied composers in Hollywood history, his career spanning across six decades and some of the most acclaimed films in cinema history.

The following work by David Raksin is contained in my collection.

Laura (1944): Theme.


Joe Raposo and songs from Sesame Street


Joseph Guilherme “Joe” Raposo (February 8, 1937 – February 5, 1989) was a Portuguese-American composer, songwriter, pianist, television writer and lyricist, best known for his work on the children’s television series Sesame Street, for which he wrote the theme song, as well as classic songs such as “Bein’ Green” and “C is for Cookie,” who also wrote music for other television shows such as The Electric Company, Shining Time Station and the sitcoms Three’s Company and The Ropers, including their theme songs, and additionally composed extensively for the DePatie-Freleng Enterprises such as Halloween Is Grinch Night, Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You?, and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat.  Raposo was born on February 8, 1937, in Fall River, Massachusetts, the only child of Portuguese immigrant parents Joseph Soares Raposo and Maria (a.k.a. “Aunt” Sarah) da Ascenção Vitorino Raposo.   He was known as “Sonny” to his family. Joseph Sr. was an accomplished musician, classical guitarist, violinist, flutist, pianist, music teacher, and Joe’s first music teacher.

Raposo was a graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River. A 1958 graduate of Harvard College, he was well known for writing the scores for several Hasty Pudding shows there. He was also a graduate of L’Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger.   Raposo worked in musical theater both before and after his work for the Children’s Television Workshop and Sesame Street; musical theater was where he first encountered future collaborator Jim Henson.  Although primarily known for work in live-action and animated children’s television, Joe Raposo actually aspired to become a Broadway musical composer.  In 1962, he set Eric Bentley’s English-language translation of song texts and poems in Bertolt Brecht’s play A Man’s a Man at the Loeb Drama Center (in Cambridge, Massachusetts) and the Masque Theatre (New York City). Portions of the production were subsequently shown on CBS-TV, and the entire production (dialogue, songs, and all) was recorded and released on the Spoken Arts label.

According to Jonathan Schwartz, during the mid-1960s, before Sesame Street, Raposo performed side music in piano bars in Boston to make ends meet, and also served as pianist and music director for a jazz trio working at Boston’s WNAC-TV. Upon hearing Raposo’s musical skill, Schwartz claims in his autobiography he urged Raposo to give up piano bar playing in Boston and move to New York City. Raposo’s decision to take Schwartz’s suggestion and move in 1965 eventually led him to his fated meeting with Henson, to Sesame Street, and toward international fame.   During his career Raposo composed themes for several sitcoms such as Ivan The Terrible, Three’s Company, The Ropers and Foot in the Door, film scores such as The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972), Savages (1972) and Maurie (1973), and documentaries, most notably Peter Rosen’s production America Is for which Raposo not only scored a patriotic, critically well-received title theme but, unusually, served as its on-screen narrator.

Raposo was the musical supervisor and arranger of the original off-Broadway run of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and he contributed additional music to that show. He was also responsible for the memorable theme music for New York City television station WABC-TV’s The 4:30 Movie; the piece, called “Moving Pictures,” was also used for the station’s other movie shows, and subsequently by ABC’s other owned-and-operated stations.  Raposo is best known for the songs he wrote for Sesame Street from its beginning in 1969 through the mid-1970s, and also for a time in the 1980s. He wrote the “Sesame Street Theme” – various versions of which have opened every episode – as well as many of its most popular songs, such as “Bein’ Green,” “C is for Cookie,” “Sing,” and “ABC-DEF-GHI.”  A version of “Sing” recorded by The Carpenters in 1973 reached #3 on the Billboard top singles chart. For many years, most of the music used in Sesame Street’s film segments was also written — and often sung — by Raposo.

Aside from his musical contributions, Raposo performed several uncredited stock characters on Sesame Street during the early 1970s.   He usually chose to portray anonymous, silly characters in these segments, which were nearly always produced on 16 mm film. He also did voice-overs for a few animated segments.  One of Raposo’s Sesame Street compositions, “The Square Song,” was used in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  In 1971, Children’s Television Workshop created the show The Electric Company, meant to help teach reading to children who had outgrown Sesame Street. Raposo served as the musical director of the show for its first three seasons, and contributed songs throughout the show’s run, until 1977.  Raposo performed joke characters for film segments on The Electric Company similar in style to what he had done on Sesame Street.

Raposo enjoyed doing animation voicework. Other forays of his into the craft included both the tenor singing role of “master pickler” Gil Gickler in DePatie-Freleng’s Dr. Seuss cartoon program Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? and Gickler’s spoken dialogue.  Raposo also performed at least three other character voices in the cartoon, including a Groogen musician whose “flugel bugle” is destroyed by Pontoffel in an attack flyover, the ancient Senior Fairy above McGillicuddy who oversees the fairy squadron’s worldwide search for the missing Pock and his piano, and an angry Groogen dairywoman spilt milk upon by a too-close fly-by of Pontoffel’s.   In the 1970s, Raposo wrote original music for the animated film Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure.  He later teamed with William Gibson (The Miracle Worker) to create a stage musical about Raggedy Ann. The musical was the first theatre company production from the United States to perform in the Soviet Union upon resumption of cultural relations between the two countries. It later had a brief run on Broadway in 1986.

Raposo collaborated with Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) on a musical adaptation of the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life which was first performed at the University of Michigan in 1986.

The HBO animated adaptation of Madeline, for which Raposo composed the music and songs (with writer/lyricist Judy Rothman), aired four months after Raposo’s death; the cartoon The Smoggies, for which Raposo wrote the theme song, premiered in Canada.  Raposo died on February 5, 1989, at age 51 in Bronxville, New York of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, just three days before his 52nd birthday. He was survived by his four children and by his parents. His grave is located at Union Cemetery in Chatham, MA.  Raposo’s songwriting tended toward wistful introspections on life and nature. Primarily celebrated for his bright, uptempo major key compositions, he also showed skill at arranging original blues and jazz pieces in minor key and often took sudden melancholy lyrical detours in the midst of otherwise cheerful songs.  Unlike his children’s television scoring contemporaries, Raposo exhibited an uncommonly broad grasp of compositional styles. Raposo was classically trained as a conductor. Most overtly, however, Joe Raposo’s sonic trademark was his seemingly obsessive, and often exhaustively authentic, live replication of the tonal quality and exact playback cadence of the 20th-century self-operating player piano when composing for and performing on a grand, baby grand or upright piano.

My collection includes the following works by Joe Raposo:

Sesame Street: Theme, Sing, ABC-DEF-GHI, Somebody Come and Play, and Bein’ Green.