Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jitterbug, a Telefunken Console and Mantovani

Posting on this blog has ground to a halt because of the decline and passing of my father, John N. Weems. It is never easy to say goodbye, but it was Dad's time, and I will miss him.

Dad grew up in the Land Between the Rivers, otherwise known as the Hog Jaw, or the Jaw as the locals knew it. It is now known as the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Dad's nickname to all his oldest friends was 'Bud', which I was surprised to learn as a teen was a corruption of 'Jitterbug'. Dad was shy, and evidently could not be persuaded to dance, something I can quite sympathize with. But one day someone convinced him to try and he was hooked. The power of dance!

Dad was a pilot in the Air Force and purchased a large mono Telefunken console in Germany in the late '50s. This was the system I played my Johnny Horton albums on. I was shocked (shocked!) to learn that Johnny was a country singer once I ventured beyond North to Alaska. Dad's musical taste was a bit syrupy and ran to Mantovani with a few stray forays into Pete Fountain and Al Hirt. A few years ago I found a stash of wonderful big band reissues at the now defunct Georgetown, Ky flea market. Dad knew all the bands well and even shared a few stories. As a young man he saw a number of them in person and even got to play cards with one that got stranded on his base for several weeks in 1943. The Telefunken was a very sweet workhorse for nearly 45 years, but it was abandoned in a move and a downsize several years ago. I regret that I was unable to get it here to Texas.

I sincerely hope that they are skipping the harps and letting Dad listen to Mantovani on his Telefunken...

We now resume our normal programming.

Photo of Telefunken console stolen from this site.

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