Monday, June 6, 2016

Music Monday - D-Day and the Convoy

On June 6, 1944, over 160,000 Allied troops landed on a 50 mile stretch of French beaches at Normandy to begin one of the greatest invasions of all time.

Many of the dead remain in France.  These are memorials to American dead but there are other graves and memorials for British, Canadian, Australian, French, Greek, citizens of New Zealand, Norwegian, Polish and others who gave their lives that day.

A little less than a year later, Nazi Germany signed papers of unconditional surrender.

It is fitting that, today, I revive my "Music Monday" feature to bring you, my readers, some music of the late 1930's, and the 1940's.

I was not alive in the 1940's, but this was the music of my mother and father.  First up on this mini-hit parade:  Sing Sing Sing, written by Louie Prima.  This version is by Benny Goodman.

This song will get your toes (and all other body parts) to moving.





In The Mood (1939) - Big Band leader and musician Glenn Miller,  noted for this song, was a casualty of World War II.  This is a more recent recording.  The Glenn Miller Orchestra still tours.

G. I. Jive - Johnny Mercer (1944).

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - Andrews Sisters (1941).

What were those people fighting for?  The very survival of the Western World.  If you want to get a taste of that world pre-World War II, watch the first two or three minutes of this documentary based on a memoir by the late Edith Hahn-Beer, who passed away in 2009 after a remarkable life. (I highly recommend the memoir,  incidentally.)

Every day, more and more of the "Greatest Generation", so many of whom fell on D-Day, pass away.  We thank those who fought on D-Day for our freedom - some of us, for our very existence.

My last song is not connected with World War II, but, rather, with June 6.  Yesterday, while in the car, I heard a song I hadn't heard in many years.

Years after D-Day, on an unspecified June 6, this song, Convoy, becomes a great hit (reaching the top of the charts in January of 1976).  I loved it; but listening to it now, it sounds a bit dated.  And, for my readers outside the United States, please don't use it to study United States geography.  The "bears" would have had plenty of time to stop a convoy headed from Oklahoma to Chicago to the Jersey Shore.

But it still makes me smile on this special day in history.

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post. I'll be sure to watch the documentary later today.

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  2. I loved the big band stuff. For about a decade I lived in the Sun Valley, Idaho area. The resort would have the Glenn Miller Orchestra play every New Years Eve. The hotels would play big band music overhead all the time. It really gave the resort a fun nostalgic feeling.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. What a wonderful New Years Eve type of music. It would remind me of listening to Guy Lombardo (on TV) at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City every New Years Eve while growing up. They call this music "classic" for a reason.

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  3. In the Mood is still one of my very favorites!
    Thanks for the share- and the reminder of how this date made a significant change in world events.

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    1. We all would do well to study and remember history, especially some of the history surrounding World War II. Thank you.

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  4. It is sad that we're losing so much history with each generation that dies.

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    1. Yes, it is sad. We lose so much wisdom each day.

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  5. I love the music of our parents' generation. I was watching an Abbott and Costello film on Memorial Day, and there were the Andrews Sisters singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". I'd forgotten they were featured in those movies.

    And yes, Convoy was a great novelty hit, but it is definitely dated.

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    1. We introduced our son to the comedy of Abbott and Costello and he loved it (the Three Stooges, also). Some routines never grow old.

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  6. I was enjoying the music until I started to watch the documentary The Nazi Officer's Wife. The similarities between Germany then and our country now are frightening.

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    1. You are absolutely right. If only more of us studied history and listened to those who survived that period. The survivors still living in Europe have warned us already, time and again. If we think "it can't happen here" - well, that's what they thought.

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    2. You and Stacia are so right about history repeating itself, and we're not listening, are we?

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  7. This post made me smile because I remember hearing this type of music all while I was growing up, a favorite of my mom's and my grandmother's.

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  8. I'm always interesting in learning about music. I'll have to listen to these songs!

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  9. Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters were heard in our home growing up. Thanks for the memories.

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