Dear Diary – Page 34 (Late 1950’s – More Music)

My interest in music was now well under way and so complimentary tickets to see solo artists and groups at the Embassy Theatre were of great interest. I can remember seeing The Small Faces performing there and loved it! Rod Stewart may well have been with them at that time?

The first 78 rpm record that I owned was a band playing “Grasshopper Jump”. It was the introductory music to some BBC program which Mum and Dad listened to and I had expressed an interest in it. As a result of a letter to the BBC, they were able to identify it and the record subsequently became a Christmas present! The first 78 rpm record that I bought was “Cumberland Gap” by Lonnie Donegan and his Skiffle Group.

 I could never see much point to the lyrics, but I did like the rhythm sounds. This was soon followed by Lonnie Donegan’s “Gamblin’ Man” , “Putting on the Style” and “Jack of Diamonds”. The 1960’s would make a huge impact in my music interests but, for this Post, I am still in the late 1950’s!

When I was not at Walton Crossing, I would play some of Dad’s records and every now and then a particular piece would hold my attention. It would usually be a pretty fast paced piece, or perhaps a very sorrowful sound. My first classical love was the last movement of Brahm’s Violin Concerto with Gioconda De Vito playing violin (I now have that LP as a reminder of my Dad’s influence on me regarding classical music).

To the stranger to classical music, a Concerto is usually structured in 3 parts (Movements), the final one of which is very lively! Totally ignoring Dad’s instructions that “You must always play the complete concerto because if you don’t, you will wear out only part of the record”, I repeatedly played the last movement.

Logic eventually dictated that I should play the last movements of his other violin concertos (I now loved the violin) and thus expanded my interest into Bruch, Beethoven, Lalo & Saint- Saens and numerous other classical composers.

On occasions I would even play the complete concerto and it was during those times that I would often feel totally overwhelmed by the sadness in the sound of the violin during the slow (2nd) movement. It was not long before I would be regularly listening to all 3 movements of whatever violin concertos I could find in Dad’s record cabinet.

9 thoughts on “Dear Diary – Page 34 (Late 1950’s – More Music)

  1. Wonderful post. First 78 I actually owned was Robin Hood. First LP was The Mikado which I won at a garden fete when I was about 10. I’ve liked opera ever since. The Headmaster at my junior school used to play us classical music most days … The Planets, Peter and the Wolf, Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra etc.

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    • What a lovely idea for a Junior School. P & W was a particularly good choice because it (to me) is a primer on what classical music is all about. It has a story with the key “players” clearly defined musically. While writing this I can I hear Peter’s theme in my mind! It is unfortunate that so many kids are never exposed to classical music at an early age.


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