Reminder: this is a Hiatal Week, so there's just less of everything. No updates. No Odds & Ends. Nothing below the fold. No long essays on tiny subjects. But there's something to repay your visit, and conversation to be had at the end.


Today: Minnesota Orchestra program ads. They were playing in Northrup Auditorium at the U of M, awaiting the fancy new concert hall. The ads are taken from several issues spannning different years.

The last thing you'd expect today in a classical music brochure:

It wasn't really HIS new music. The "Mantovani sound" was the creation of arranger Ronald Binge, who came up with the "Cascading Strings" effect. (If you don't know what I mean, this song - arranged by Binge - should help.)

Why, it's that smart, topical guy!

1960. These are the jokes, friends:

All the students wanted to see him deliver trenchant analysis on the election, and then there would be folk music!

From their website:

As Lee Zhito of Billboard says, The Limeliters concerts are always "presented in an atmosphere of laughs created by sharp ad libs, gag introductions, and a humorous treatment of the song themselves."

The group cannot honestly be said to have any one single big hit; rather they are loved for a large collection of rousing songs including such audience-pleasers as "There's a Meetin' Here Tonight," "City of New Orleans," "A Dollar Down," "Have Some Madeira M'Dear," "Lonesome Traveler," "Wabash Cannonball," "Whiskey in the Jar," and many others

They did "City of New Orleans"? There's a shock. I prefer their more commercial work. Litereally:

We forget how things sounded. Until we watch the ads and TV shows and movies.

Commies? In Minnesota?

No: it was an emigre orchestra based in Germany. Alas:

. . . the government generously funded the orchestra throughout the Cold War and continued extending subsidies even after the Iron Curtain fell in 1990. The full withdrawal of state subsidies at the start of 2001, combined with the long-term decline in concert attendances, aggravated the financial problems that threatened the orchestra's survival.

It sut down soon after. Dorati would go on to other things, of course. Zoltan Rosnnyai was the former condictor of the Hungarian National orchestra, so this wasn't any Phil Spitalny pick-up orchestra.

Ah, the bygone places. Amluxen was a fabric store on the Nicollet Mall for many many years. Never heard of Nelson's.


That's the only picture of the Hope Chest Shop left in the world. As far as we know.






Now we know when the escalators went in. I'm surprised it took this long.

Dayton's is gone. The store is Macy's. For now.

Look familiar?

"My Favorite Husband" was a show that started in radio, starring Lucille Ball. Opening credits:

So that puts this ad in the mid-50s.

As for this fellow . . .

Here's how his obit starts:

In the late 1960s, Henry Norton Jr. was what’s now called a “high-functioning alcoholic.”

He had a Harvard MBA and a high-powered investment career, having risen to vice president and director of J.M. Dain & Co., where he appeared in advertisements as “the face of Dain,” said his son, Peter Norton of Durango, Colo.

But at home, his son recalls arguments between his parents over his father’s drinking, and once seeing him passed out “when he was supposed to be taking care of us.”

If that seems like a rather stark way to begin an obit, the rest concerns his recovery. He sobered up, left finance, and went into the business end of treatment.

This one's easier to date:

That's the Northwestern Life Insurance building, designed by Minoru Yamasaki. It opened in 1964, the centerpiece of the Gateway urban renewal project. Still stands.

Here's somthing that was demolished decades ago:

You can find more about the Chateau de Paris here, at my website on the Dyckman hotel. It was a place to go before you went to the symphony. Bouffant, pearls, narrow lapels, Winstons. Another world.


Exit topic: Do you ever remember your parents going out to dinner? It was a big thing. It was a rare thing.




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